Skagit County Democrats Action Newsletter for November 15, 2021

DEMOCRATIC EVENTS

1. NEWSkagit County Democrats will participate in the Mount Vernon Annual Downtown Holiday Parade 2021, Sunday, Dec 5, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
“This year, Skagit County Democrats will walk the parade route under our banner. This will be a terrific opportunity to be visible and to celebrate the holidays with our county communities. All Democrats and their families are invited to walk with us. Democratic officials across Skagit County have been invited to walk. Additionally, community organizations whose missions align with our Democratic values have been invited to join us.

The link for you to confirm your participation is included HERE. This will be a great opportunity for recently elected officials to be public in thanking your supporters. Equally it is an opportunity for those looking toward a future election to be visible.

When we have more details about parade organization, we will share it with you. Please join us to walk the parade route. And bring your family! Let’s show our Democrat pride! Masks and social distancing will be required in order to safeguard our community. This is meant to be a safe and family friendly event!”

2. The 10th Legislative District Democrats meet Saturday, Nov 20, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Connection information has not been provided.

3. NEWThe 39th Legislative District Democrats General Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Nov 21, 10:30am
Click Here to register.

4. NEWThanksgiving Holiday Schedule

  • The headquarters will be closed from Monday, Nov 22 – Sunday, Nov 28.
  • [Chair Lynn Campbell] “will be out of the office from November 21 through November 27. Please email Nathaniel Block, our Vice Chair with any concerns at nathaniel.r.block@gmail.com during my absence.”

5. NEWFidalgo Democrats meeting of Nov 9 (Update from Anacortes Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Irish) can now be viewed on YouTube

6. Redistricting News
The four Commissioners’ maps for Congressional and Legislative Districts have been updated and released. They can be viewed here and commented on. Click Here for the Congressional District maps. Click Here for the Legislative District maps. Monday, November 15, is the deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

2021 Skagit County Redistricting – In Skagit County information on the redistricting of County Commissioner Districts can be found HERE, including proposed maps. One more public hearing is scheduled for County redistricting: November 22, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (public hearing for a final redistricting plan). If you have questions or need additional information, please visit https://www.publicinput.com/skagitcountyredistricting. You can also email redistricting@co.skagit.wa.us or call 360-416-1700 for more information.”

7. NEWChair’s Corner – Request for Donations
“Fellow Democrats, For our community’s health and safety, we cancelled the annual Gala in 2020 and 2021. Generous donors have traditionally given to our rent fund at the Gala. A year and a half ago we reached out to you to request your help in replenishing our depleted rent funds. You responded so generously that, along with the occasional rent support supplementing your membership dues, we’ve been able to meet our rent obligations up to and including November of this year.

Now, however, we are once again faced with a dwindling rent fund and the very real possibility of having to use money from the general fund to meet those same obligations. Doing so would reduce our options for supporting other priorities, such as candidate support, Get Out the Vote, and Community Outreach, which in turn would risk diminishing our effectiveness in the community.  

We are optimistically looking ahead to next June in the hopes of being able to once again stage a live Gala, but in the meantime we have at least 7 months during which we need a minimum of $7,000 to fulfill the terms of our lease. Were it not for the good fortune of finding and moving into our new headquarters the amount needed would be at least $3000 more.

We welcome contributions in any amount either through our website – https://skagitdemocrats.org/ – or by check to our address at 2021 E. College Way, #104, Mount Vernon, 98273. Your support is the mainstay of our party and the ability to make a positive difference in Skagit County.  

Thank you so much for your continued support of our party. Respectfully, Lynn Campbell, Chair, Skagit County Democrats”

Click Here to go directly to our ActBlue donation page.

8. NEWLinks of the Week
The Links of the Week provide in-depth pieces and resources the Editor has found to be relevant, insightful, and thorough on important issues of the day.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

1. NEWThe day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 26, is Native American Heritage Day
Click Here for more information.

2. County Receives additional Rental Assistance Funds; Eligibility Requirements updated
“Last week, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners and the Washington State Department of Commerce made an additional $15.4 million of eviction prevention funding available for Skagit County residents. This is the third round of funding provided by the state to address eviction prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Click Here for more information.

3. UPDATEDCOVID-19 Information
Current Skagit County Information – The following is taken from the Skagit County COVID-19 Update of Nov 10

Local COVID-19 Case, Hospital & Vaccine Data

Skagit has a total of 11,963 cases; an increase of 471 new cases since last Wednesday; Hospitalizations are at 678 total (increased by 30 since Wednesday), and 116 deaths (increased by 5). Skagit currently has a case rate of 735.1 per 100k over the last 14 days and a hospitalization rate of 17.6 COVID patients per 100k over the last seven days.

A total of 189,055 doses have been administered in Skagit County. We are now at 75.1% partially vaccinated amongst our population 12 years and older, and 69.2% fully vaccinated amongst Skagitonians 12 and older.

Why are our numbers so high?

If you’ve been wondering why Skagit County’s case rates are so high and aren’t declining like some other counties in the state, you wouldn’t be alone! We’ve gotten many questions recently about why Skagit seems to be so different compared to our neighboring counties. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple—there are several factors at play. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Skagit County’s population is different! We are more rural and agricultural than our neighbors to the north and south. Many of our residents do not work from home, meaning that folks are out in the community more. We also have many large households here in Skagit, which allows for more household transmissions.
  2. Our vaccination rates are still behind our neighbors—especially King County. Populations with a higher percentage of fully vaccinated residents will see lower case rates. Until we have a higher vaccination percentage, COVID-19 will continue to spread.
  3. Many of our residents are still not taking proper precautions. Masking and limiting gatherings can help to keep disease transmission lower. We are currently seeing the results of Halloween weekend, with a greater number of new cases over the past week or so.

Thankfully, it isn’t all bad. There are some good things at play too when considering our case numbers.

  1. Skagit County residents continue to take testing seriously! Folks are great at getting tested when not feeling well or when potentially exposed to the virus. We know this by looking at our positivity rates at the Fairgrounds testing site. Since we reopened in August, we’re averaging about 11% percent positivity—this means that slightly more than 1 in every 10 people who come to the fairgrounds on a given day are testing positive.
  2. Skagit County has low-barrier testing options that many of our neighboring counties do not! This means that more people can access a test when they need it.
  3. Public Health, when conducting case investigation, recommends that positive cases have other members in their households tested. Since we know that COVID-19 can spread easily within one’s home, there is a good likelihood that other members of the home will also test positive.
  4. Our partners—schools, employers, long-term care facilities—are really great at doing what they need to do. This includes following testing guidance from Public Health and the Washington Department of Health.

Lastly, it is important to note that while our case rates are high right now for us, Skagit never saw the incredible spikes in cases that many of our comparable counties saw earlier this year. Yes, our numbers are high, but our trends have always been much smoother than counties in Eastern Washington, for example.

Pediatric Vaccine at the Fairgrounds

Pfizer COVID-19 Pediatric vaccines are available — by appointment only https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ — for children 5-11 years old.

  • Parent or Legal Guardian must be present at the time of appointment to provide consent.
  • No other brand (i.e., Janssen or Moderna) is available for pediatric patients at this time.
  • A second pediatric dose of Pfizer vaccine will be required no earlier than 21 days after the first to complete the vaccine series. After first dose, you will receive information on how to make an appointment for your child’s second dose.
  • If you have questions about your child receiving the vaccine, please consult with your primary care provider prior to making an appointment.
  • Children ages 12 years and older do not need an appointment when seeking a first or second dose of vaccine.

Appointments are limited at this time. Please check on Mondays at 9:00 AM for newly added appointments or call the Hotline for assistance: 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357), then press #. To make an appointment for a pediatric vaccine, go to: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/. Search for “Skagit County Public Health” under Name of Location.

Vaccine Boosters Available

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson boosters are available at the Fairgrounds—by appointment only—for eligible individuals. To make an appointment for a booster, go to: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/. Search for “Skagit County Public Health” under Name of Location.

Holiday Operational Changes at the Fairgrounds

As a reminder, the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccine Site will be closed on specific holidays during the months of November and December. The site will be closed on the following dates:

  • Thursday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day)
  • Thursday, November 25th (Thanksgiving)
  • Friday, November 26th (Thanksgiving)
  • Friday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)
  • Friday, December 31st (New Year’s Day)

In lieu of these dates, the site will be open on the following days from 3pm to 7pm:

  • Wednesday, November 10th
  • Wednesday November 24th
  • Wednesday, December 22nd
  • Wednesday, December 29th

For more information about the site, go to: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm or call (360) 416-1500.

ADDENDUM: (From Nov 15 Press Release) “The Skagit Fairgrounds Testing & Vaccine Site will be closed on Monday, November 15 and Tuesday, November 16 due to flooding and high winds. The site will reopen on Thursday, November 18 at 3 p.m. assuming that there are no serious impacts to the area from flooding and high winds.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Speak Up, Speak Out
Although Speak Up, Speak Out (SUSO) has not been airing new broadcasts, past broadcasts going back to March 2006 are still available for the next year at their website: http://speakupspeakoutradio.org/.