December 10, 2021
As we all face down the possible emergence of a new COVID variant, we can be confident in our ability to manage through if we keep following best practices — including ventilation, masking in certain settings, testing, vaccinations, boosters. (Schedule your booster appointment here.)
Most people can be confident that they are protected once vaccinated. As the New York times reported, data from King County Washington shows that the risk of hospitalizations remains very, very low for younger age cohorts that are vaccinated. And soon we will have anti-viral pills in addition to monoclonal antibodies.
For seniors, however, and those with higher medical risks, there continues to be some elevated risk even after being vaccinated. That is why we must stamp out transmission, so that we can all — including our seniors — return to normalcy.
Our vaccination rate is very high, and as the Washington Post detailed, our death rate is relatively low. But there are still many unvaccinated people. And the pandemic continues to burn.
One way that we can increase our vaccination levels is through employer requirements. I continue to believe that we must require County employees to get vaccinated, with necessary medical and religious exemptions. Unfortunately the legislation several of us have proposed to do just that is facing resistance from the leadership of the employee unions (though not in the schools) and the County Executive.