A strong storm whipped through the Sound region over the weekend, leaving more than 140,000 people without power on Oct. 24.
According to their social media feeds, electrical companies Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy were still struggling to restore power the following day with hundreds of outages reported and more than 30,000 customers affected.
The majority of the outages were concentrated in King and Pierce counties, according to Puget Sound Energy. Especially hard hit were areas in and around Enumclaw, Graham, Issaquah, Orting, Redmond, Sammamish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie.
According to the Seattle Times, two people were killed when a tree fell on their car near Issaquah as a result of the storm.
Vaxed, not vexed
Beginning Oct. 25, King County residents must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to access outdoor events of more than 500 people as well as indoor recreation and entertainment establishments and events such as live music, performing arts, gyms, restaurants and bars.
The new restrictions apply to all people aged 12 or older. Proof of vaccination can include a person’s COVID-19 vaccination card, a photo of the card, a printed certificate or a QR code available at MyIRMobile.com.
Alternatively, people must show a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours, even if the person in question has a valid vaccination exemption. But not all tests are created equal — the tests must come from a health care provider, laboratory or pharmacy. Rapid or at-home tests will not be accepted.
Smaller restaurants that seat fewer than 12 people will have until Dec. 6 to come into compliance, according to King County.
County health officials will revisit the mandate within six months after the Oct. 25 implementation date. An analysis by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimated that vaccine verification policies at restaurants, bars and fitness centers alone could prevent between 17,900 and 75,900 infections and as many as 257 deaths over the six months that the order is in place.
The new order comes as the delta variant continues to stress local hospital systems. The variant is more than twice as contagious as the original virus, according to public health officials. As of Oct. 26, 71.4 percent of King County and 82.7 percent of people aged 12 and above who are eligible for the vaccine were fully vaccinated, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.
The order does not cover people entering homeless shelters, a county spokesperson confirmed via email.
Read more of the Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2021 issue.