Border opening, Delta variant sows confusion, drug overdose deaths, COVID 8 Budget, climate change impacts accelerate...

View this in your browser.

Banner image showing King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

July 19, 2021

US-Canada border

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

In a welcome sign that we are moving back toward a “pre-pandemic” society, Canada has just announced it will start letting vaccinated U.S. citizens over the border beginning on August 9.  This will be a boon for our fellow Washingtonians in Blaine, and others in the state with friends and families in Canada, as well as for commerce and the tourism industry on both sides of the border.

At the same time, however, the mixed signals are continuing with regard to where we stand in our efforts to bring an end to this pandemic.  The Washington Post reports that thanks to the Delta variant, the number of positive COVID cases rose 70% in just one week.  Of course, this is largely – but not exclusively – due to unvaccinated people acquiring the virus.

More below on all the latest news on the coronavirus, including the fact that more jurisdictions are reinstating their indoor mask requirements - - regardless of vaccination status.  And fears about the impact of the Delta variant are wreaking havoc with our nation’s stock market, with the Dow (Jones Industrial average) dropping 900 points at one point today. 

Tomorrow, at the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, which I chair, we will discuss and take possible action on the County’s eighth (since the start of the pandemic) COVID emergency budget.  This is discussed in more depth below, under “This week at the Council.”

Also included below is information on the increasing number of deaths among drug users, the latest on climate change, heat and wildfires, an update on rental assistance and the new Child Tax Credit, and more.

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at   

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.