New guidance and vaccine access
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Whether you are vaccinated or not, the CDC is still urging people to keep taking precautions in public, like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
According to the Department of Health Data Dashboard, almost one in five Clark County residents have received at least one dose. Click here or on the image below to check out the Data Dashboard, where you can look up information for every county on demographics, testing, vaccine doses given, hospitalizations, confirmed cases and more.
We have moved into a new phase of vaccine eligibility and now critical workers in grocery stores, food banks, public transit, agriculture and more are now qualified for the COVID-19 vaccine, along with people over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk.
The state Department of Health launched the latest version of the Vaccine Locator tool, a user-friendly web app that displays available COVID vaccination appointments from multiple provider scheduling sites in one place. Check out the Phase Finder tool to see if you’re eligible for the vaccine.
It’s also worthwhile to peruse the Clark County Public Health CIVID-19 vaccines website for current information on vaccines supply and locations in our area.
I know that many people are eager to get vaccinated and are frustrated by the distribution process, but it is getting better and more supply is reaching our state every week. My husband and I got our second dose recently and experienced minimal side effects. I talk about this process in my latest video update here.
When we take a step back to reflect on the last year, in just 12 months, we have come together, developed multiple vaccines and given more than 2 million doses in Washington. We are on the right track.
Prioritizing de-escalation and limiting use of force
After months of work by the families of victims of police violence, elected officials, law enforcement organizations and other community groups to answer the call for action in the wake of lives lost to unnecessary police violence, the House of Representatives passed HB 1310. This bill sets the clear expectation that de-escalation should be an officer’s first instinct and that deadly force should only be an absolute last resort.
Current law allows police to complete an arrest “by any means necessary,” a broad authorization that allows an unlimited amount of force. Under this bill, when determining use of force, officers would be required to consider circumstances, such as a person having a disability, experiencing a mental health crisis, pregnancy, or the presence of children. By setting that new standard, deadly force would be a last resort after de-escalation efforts failed.
HB 1310 is one of a series of bills brought forward by members of the Policing Policy Leadership Team. The House had already passed HB 1267 to establish an independent agency to investigate police uses of deadly force, and HB 1054 to ban dangerous and unacceptable police tactics.
In my latest Ask Sharon video, I talk about the Working Families Tax Exemption and about access to broadband.
You’ll find more information on the measure to help working families below.
Upholding our promise to working families
The Working Families Tax Exemption, or Recovery Rebate, is our promise to the people of Washington that when they work hard to achieve their dreams, their community will rise up to support them.
I did not hesitate to add my name to the list of cosponsors for this legislation, and was truly happy to see it pass out of the House on March 9 almost unanimously. It was already heard and voted out of a policy committee in the Senate and is now waiting to get scheduled in Ways & Means.
This bill is a tool for racial justice, economic recovery, and community health. It is time to step up and give everyone a chance at a healthy, happy life.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. If you need more information on any of the issues discussed here, or on any other legislative matter, please contact my office.
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