I wanted to keep you up to date on new guidelines from Public Health on child care providers, steps the County Executive has taken to ensure the health of people in correctional facilities, and more.
New Health & Safety Guidelines for Child Care Providers
Public Health announced new guidance Tuesday for child care and early learning providers that are considered essential during the stay-at-home order. These updated guidelines from Public Health will help these providers prevent and prepare for cases of COVID-19.
Work Release Program Suspended to Reduce Exposure in Correctional Facilities
King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an order on Tuesday suspending the work release program as part of several steps to reduce the number of people in custody and ensure the health of everyone in correctional facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to get the population at King County’s two adult correctional facilities to about 1,200 to provide single bunks for everyone in custody as recommended by Public Health – Seattle & King County. It also will provide Jail Health Services employees with more room to isolate people who are at a higher risk of severe complications.
What is Essential?
On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home order in Washington state, requiring all nonessential businesses to close and for people to stay home except for critical outings for food, doctor appointments, required work, etc. But understanding exactly what’s essential and what’s nonessential can be confusing for many people. You can download a full list of what businesses and workers are essential here.
King County COVID-19 Cases Graph
Blood Donations Still Needed
Maintaining an adequate blood supply is a challenge under normal circumstances. It's even more challenging in light of the coronavirus outbreak. As of March 23, about 7,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 200,000 fewer blood donations. Healthy, eligible individuals are still able to give blood to prevent shortages. Donors can make an appointment to donate blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Please pass this information along to any of your contacts who may be able to help.
Real Time Global COVID-19 Data: Check This Out
In case you missed my update yesterday, I wanted to bring to your attention a website that tracks the total number of COVID-19 cases by country, including confirmed cases, daily changes, confirmed deaths, and recoveries. The website is designed and managed by a 17-year-old high school junior from Mercer Island named Avi Schiffmann. Check out the website, www.ncov2019.live/data and learn more about Avi in this interview with Democracy Now. Please note, the website pulls data from public health websites around the world every minute, but not every country reports the data uniformly.
As always, stay home, stay healthy, and don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of assistance to you or your family.
With best wishes,
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember