As COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the nation, what's next here locally?
- Moses Lake, WA
Washington State was the first state in the nation with both confirmed COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths. As of May 24th, 2021, the state has reported 394,143 cases and 5,702 deaths statewide. Here in Grant County, 8,991 Covid-19 cases have been reported countywide, and 78 deaths. Vaccines have been approved by the FDA and state health boards cases have been dropping at a constant rate, however, Grant County has not been meeting the president's vaccination goal by even half and is one of counties with the lowest vaccination rates.
According to City Manager Allison Willams only 31% of the county’s population have received one COVID-19 vaccination shot and only 29% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.
"That's a low vaccination rate. We have counties around us that have that vaccination rate up to around 70%," Williams said in an interview.
We asked Williams what was next for the city and what plan does the city have to meet the Governor’s goal of fully reopening the state by June 30th? Williams said she connected with the Grant County Health District, and Grant County Emergency Management to bring vaccines to City Hall for those who still want the vaccine. The city hall vaccination clinic was originally meant to be more easily accessible for city employees.
"As a city manager I want to make sure we have a safe workforce... we provide essential services, we've gotta keep our people healthy. You depend on us for your drinking water, your ability to flush your toilet, your ability to have a police officer show up at your door."
Williams said the next City Hall vaccination clinic will be June 4th and the process to register is easy as a link. To schedule a vaccine dosage a link will be posted on the city's webpage. Williams also mentioned that Grant County Emergency Management and Grant County Health District have partnered to create mobile units at the community requests.
What's the city's plan to meet the governor's
reopening date of June 30th?
City buildings have been modified to provide safety to guests and city workers, and face coverings will continue to be implemented in all city buildings. Outdoor city recreation facilities will also adapt to new changes to continue to make large gathering locations safe. The Surf n Slide Water Park which falls under the city's "Outward Bound Program" followed Washington Health, L&I protocols that needed to meet both national and state COVID-19 requirements. To debunk false information circulating about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine, the city is working with GCHD, and is encouraging city staff to spread messages of positive COVID-19 facts, and to inform the community better.
"The science says this is like the flu shot, this may become a regular part of our practice on an annual bases just like we get the flu shot... the conversation that needs to happen is to normalize this." Allison stated.
ARTICLE BY: Brandon Sanchez MLWA 7 NEWS