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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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Dear Friends:

Below you will find information on the extension of distance learning, Paycheck Protection Loans that are now available for small business owners, updated guidance on wearing masks, a call for blood donors to help maintain our regionís critical supplies, and more.

Distance Learning Extended Through End of School Year

Today, Governor Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced that all public and private K-12 school will continue distance learning through the end of the school year in June. This extension aims to suppress this pandemic and continue to blunt the spread of COVID-19. You can find more details on the order here.

I have appreciated Superintendent Reykdalís willingness to speak at events I have hosted before in South King County. I also appreciate his commitment to the education and safety of students across the state.

Paycheck Protection Loans Now Available

Nearly $350 billion in loans are now available to small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. The money, dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program, is part of the coronavirus relief plan from Congress and makes loans of up to $10 million (up to 2.5 times their total monthly payroll) available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees (based on pre-COVID-19 payroll numbers).

Business owners can find more information on the SBAís website or by contacting their preferred lender. Additionally, small businesses with temporary revenue loss can get up to $10,000 through an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Again, any business with fewer than 500 employees is eligible and the funds need not be repaid. Information about this program is available here. My staff is working to quickly gather all these resources in one place, and we will be adding more information about these programs and others to our Get Help page.

State and CDC Recommend Wearing Face Masks

Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that people wear cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

This might include trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store, health clinic or similar places. This recommendation is not a substitute for existing guidance to maintain 6-feet of physical distance from non-household members and performing frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wearing cloth face coverings will not prevent spread of COVID-19 without these other protective measures. While this is not a mandate that you must wear a face covering, it is considered an additional layer of protection. Visit the Washington State Department of Health website for the full guidance document.

Blood Donors Needed to Maintain Critical Supplies

Social distancing directives have meant the cancellation of the school and employer blood drives that maintain the local blood supply, putting our local blood supply in danger of collapse. New donors are needed now to step-up and save a life, and for donors to make this a generous and consistent habit. All types of blood are needed for cancer treatment, trauma cases, and many other situations. The process only takes an hour and actual donation time is about 10 minutes.

Routine blood donor screening methods are expected to reliably protect the blood supply, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus. Bloodworks Northwest is accepting donations by appointment-only in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. You can make an appointment for donation by visiting www.bloodworksnw.org or by calling 800-398-7888.

Mortgage Relief Reminder

Gov. Inslee shared Wednesday that the state had issued guidance to mortgage companies to work with homeowners who may not be able to make their mortgage payments, including offering forbearance. You can find more information here, including tips on how to work with your mortgage servicer.

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Webinars

Although I am not a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, I think highly of their leadership, and appreciate the work they are doing to help connect people and businesses with resources through their COVID-19 Business Info Series. Click here to check out their recent episodes.

Driverís License Expirations Extended 90 Days

Governor Inslee has taken action to allow the Department of Licensing (DOL) to temporarily extend the expiration dates of driver licenses. The DOL will send letters to persons whose driver license is set to expire in the next 90 days.

Real Time Global COVID-19 Data: Check This Out

If you havenít already, you can check out www.ncov2019.live/data, which 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 student from King County named Avi Schiffmann.

Please note, the website pulls data from public health websites around the world every minute, but not every country reports the data uniformly.

King County Case Update

As of yesterday, Seattle Ė King County Public Health was reporting 3,167 total cases, and 208 total deaths in King County.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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