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We have had two big announcements on COVID-19 vaccinations over the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Mayor Durkan reported that Seattle is the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70% of residents 12 and older. This is an amazing milestone that paves the way to a new and safer normal for all of us living and working in the city. As members of the healthcare community, we’ve had many opportunities during the past year to lead by example and to model the behavior we know can bring an end to the pandemic. Right now, that opportunity is vaccination.

Last week, President Ana Mari Cauce announced that all University of Washington staff, trainees and faculty, including those in UW Medicine, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the autumn quarter. This is consistent with UW’s broader campus policy and follows new workplace guidelines from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

With appointments readily available and plenty of vaccine supply, I strongly encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated — including your family and friends— to book a first-dose appointment or walk in at any of our UW Medicine mass vaccination clinics. As an employee, you may check in immediately at the clinic’s front desk without even needing to wait in line. Many of the mass vaccination sites will be closing in the coming weeks as the vaccine efforts transition into clinics and mobile sites, so now is the easiest time to get started. While there will be exemptions for medical and philosophical reasons, the more people who get vaccinated, the safer we will all be from COVID-19.

Speaking of vaccination:

  • If you’ve received at least one dose, you’re automatically entered in Washington’s “Shot of a Lifetime” program, a lottery program with cash and prizes. Drawings started on Tuesday and will continue weekly through the $1 million grand-prize drawing in July.
  • There are a lot of questions about when we might return to more “normal” summertime staff activities such as picnics, group gatherings and more. Unfortunately, there is no playbook for this process, but we are looking at our options and working on a safe and thoughtful response, realizing that the great benefits of vaccination should enable these activities to return sooner rather than later. Stay tuned and thank you for your patience.
  • Our numbers in King County continue to trend downward, as they have since early May — another key sign our vaccination efforts are working. Thanks to our vaccine teams and clinic volunteers, more than 335,000 doses have now been administered through UW Medicine.

Today’s update includes:

  • Local/National/Global Epidemiology
  • Vaccination Summary
  • COVID-19 Employee Testing Updates

UW Medicine COVID-19 Activity Summary

Local/National/Global Epidemiology

King County: Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting 106,200 total confirmed cases and 1,612 deaths as of Thursday, June 10. The number of new positive tests is currently at 74/14 days/100,000 people. The effective reproductive (Re) number was estimated to be 0.9 (estimate range: 0.5-1.4).

Washington: The Department of Health reports 406,802 confirmed cases and 5,793 deaths as of June 8. Of the 7,308,975 people who have been tested, 5.6% have been positive.

United States: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 13,429 new cases, 33,224,075 total COVID-19 cases and 595,625 deaths as of June 9.

Global: The WHO COVID-19 Dashboard reports 174,061,995 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,758,560 deaths as of June 10.

UW Medicine Vaccination Summary as of June 9

*Total Doses Given: 336,269. Site numbers represent total doses administered to employees, patients and community members.

COVID-19 Employee Testing Updates

  • While a lot of our effort has focused this year on the vaccine rollout, we continue to improve our COVID-19 testing process for employees. In recent weeks, we have been piloting a rapid test at Harborview that returns results in less than an hour, allowing employees to know quickly whether the symptoms they are experiencing are related to COVID-19 or something else. The pilot phase is going well, and we look forward to expanding our rapid-testing capabilities in the months ahead.
  • The UW Medicine Employee COVID-19 Testing Survey will be unavailable from 7 p.m. Friday, June 11 until 1 a.m. Saturday, June 12, for a software upgrade. During this brief period, you will not be able to take the survey, which is required prior to scheduling an appointment for COVID-19 PCR testing. You can also find this link, along with all of the COVID-19 policies and protocols at

As vaccination rates increase and our state prepares to ease some of the restrictions for public places, conveniently summer is arriving at the same time. Taking time off earlier this month was very beneficial for me and my family, and I encourage you to take a break of your own, as schedules allow. Whether that is a staycation, vacation or just a little time to rest and relax, it’s important that we all have space to recharge. It’s another critical component in our efforts to support the health and safety of our patients — leading by example.

Thank you for everything you have done to get us this far.


John Lynch, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control
Associate Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine