In today’s update, you will find updated resources for small businesses and food banks in our state, as well as an extension to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange for individuals who are uninsured. As we continue to approach this crisis day by day, I found this reminder about Anne Frank’s sacrifices encouraging.
“To put things in perspective for those of us feeling a bit stir crazy already—Anne Frank and 7 other people hid in a 450 sq. ft. attic for 761 days, quietly trying to remain undiscovered to stay alive. We must all do our part to keep everyone safe and spend a few weeks at home.”
Photo of Anne Frank
State Announces $5M Grant Program for Small Business
On Tuesday, Governor Inslee announced a new grant program targeted to small businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 shutdown. The Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program will provide a limited number of grants of up to $10,000 for businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
If you’d like to learn more or apply for the grant, click here.
Washington Launches Food Fund to Provide Relief for Food Banks
An estimated 1.6 million Washingtonians will approach food banks for help staying fed this week – double the normal demand – as the COVID-19 crisis and economic shutdown continues. At the same time, donations to food banks are down 70%.
In response, the state launched the Washington Food Fund in partnership with Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest. The fund will collect donations to distribute food to hundreds of food banks across the state. You can find more information and donate here.
Washington Health Plan Finder Enrollment Extended to May 8th
Last week, in the response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced it is extending the current special enrollment period for individuals who are uninsured. The original special enrollment period, that ran from March 10, 2020 through April 8, 2020, will now continue through May 8, 2020. Coverage will start May 1, 2020 for customers who enroll after April 8.
To request a special enrollment or to report a change in income, contact an enrollment center, broker, or navigator to initially request. These insurance experts are available by phone to answer questions, assist in reporting a change in income, and get consumers enrolled in the right health plan. Consumers can find contact information here. Consumers can also contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.
Real Time Global COVID-19 Data: Check This Out
If you haven’t 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 – King County Public Health was reporting 3,331 total cases, and 222 total deaths in King County.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember