DOH Digest will not be published October 12 while staff and external partners attend the Washington State Public Health Association Annual Conference.
DOH's guidance on expired COVID-19 tests has changed. This impacts expired point-of-care and at-home/over-the-counter rapid antigen tests. Learn how local health jurisdictions, tribal health partners, or Washington K-12 schools can order new test kits.
As of September 12, COVID-19 vaccines have transitioned from being purchased by the U.S. government to being available on the commercial market like many other vaccines. Since the federal government no longer purchases COVID-19 vaccines for administration through the CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Enrollment Agreement, providers are offered the opportunity to disenroll.
DOH is providing the latest information in documents and webpages for health care providers and the general public to follow the CDC’s 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. See the list of webpages and materials that have changed.
DOH’s new Unintentional Drug Overdose Data dashboard provides valuable insights for addressing substance use disorders in the state. Thirteen Washington counties currently participate in the program.
To respond to the increasing rates of death due to fentanyl in recent years, state leaders used National Opioid Awareness Day to focus on saving lives from opioid overdose by urgently expanding our efforts.
Low-interest construction loan applications will be open to publicly owned (municipal) and privately owned drinking water systems beginning Monday, October 2. For more information on the loans and upcoming information sessions visit DOH’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund page.
DOH and the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) are committed to taking action to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases at temporary worker housing sites. DOH and L&I spent a year amending rule language. The final rule was filed September 19, 2023, and will be effective on November 1, 2023.
CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program has provided no-cost COVID-19 testing for uninsured people. Now the CDC has modified existing ICATT testing contracts with CVS Health, Walgreens, and eTrueNorth to also include no-cost COVID-19 vaccines for the uninsured and underinsured via the Bridge Program. No-cost COVID-19 vaccines will be available through this program until December 31, 2024.
DOH’s Complaint Resolution Unit is accepting reports of health, safety, and human rights concerns about private detention facilities. To promote and explain the complaint process, we will soon share an informational brochure in multiple languages.
Tribal Health and Wellness
Many communities have spent time during National Suicide Prevention Month honoring the lives lost to suicide, supporting the millions of individuals who have faced thoughts of suicide, and recognizing the profound impact suicide has on families and communities. To continue the awareness beyond September, the state Health Care Authority gathered culturally appropriate toolkits and suicide prevention guidance for American Indian and Alaska Native people.
The state Health Care Authority is expanding on its statewide fentanyl education campaign, Friends for Life, with new materials and messaging designed to reach youth, ages 12-18, and their parents/caregivers with primary prevention strategies. There will also be two webinars to learn about resources available to support fentanyl education and Take Back Day activities.
DOH’s Infection Prevention team is providing free Infection Control Assessments and Response (ICAR) educational visits for oncology facilities. The visits are intended to ensure appropriate infection control practices are in place in oncology settings to protect patients who face heightened susceptibility to infections.
Learn and Share
DOH’s Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology has updated and collected resources to help local and tribal health partners prepare for the upcoming flu season. These include reporting links and guidance, updated and translated recommendations for settings, the influenza reports and dashboard, health promotion and outreach links, upcoming training opportunities, and more.
Pediatric providers, public health professionals, community health workers, and others are invited to attend a three-session learning collaborative to increase awareness of potential health impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The sessions will assist healthcare providers with risk mitigation guidance to patients and improved clinical care to environmentally exposed individuals.
Data Modernization Initiative
The Electronic Case Reporting team is offering the first of a series of online training to accompany the September 19 electronic case reporting soft launch. Electronic case reporting replaces antiquated manual reporting methods like faxing or mailing paper forms, using digital technology for automating disease reporting.