Today’s update includes information on King County parks reopening, the need to support our local food banks, an update on testing at the University of Washington, and more.
King County Parks Update
King County parks will reopen today. This will include regional and backcountry trails. Restrooms and other high-touch facilities remain closed. Organized activities and programs remain suspended. Please recreate responsibly, you can read more here.
First Phase of Opening Moves Forward in Washington
Today, Governor Inslee shared details on what is open now, while reinforcing the need to continue practicing social distancing to avoid an uptick in COVID-19 infections. As of today, in-progress residential construction, state parks, elective surgeries, vehicle and vessel sales, pet walkers, landscaping, drive-in religious services, curbside retail sales and car washes were allowed to operate in addition to essential businesses.
Additionally, five counties (Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Ferry and Pend Oreille) have been granted approval to move into Phase 2 early. There have been no new cases in these counties in three weeks. Three more counties have applications for variances under review. You can find more information about Inslee’s “Safe Start” plan here.
Princess Cruises and Holland America Cancel Remaining Cruises out of Seattle
This week, Princess Cruises and Holland America announced that they were cancelling the remaining cruises out of Seattle for the year. The announcement follows Carnival Cruises’ decision to cancel Alaska voyages. You can read more about this development here.
Support Local Food Banks
It is estimated that 1 in 4 Washingtonians could need food assistance soon. During this crisis, it is imperative we support our local food banks who are on the front line responding to food insecurity. You can read more here.
Given these circumstances, I wanted to commend Auburn School District employees who raised $68,783 for the Auburn Food Bank to help the agency try to make up for funds unable to be raised during the All School Food Drive. You can read more in the Auburn Reporter, great work!
Air Force Flyover Salutes Frontline Workers
Today, the 62nd Airlift Wing took flight to honor frontline workers at 30 hospitals and medical facilities in the Puget Sound. Departing from Joint Base Lewis-McChord at 12:30 p.m., the flyover salute featured the Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster III two-ship formation flown by the West Coast Demo Team. Thank you for supporting our first responders, medical personnel and everyone else at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19.
Bellevue Chamber Webinar
Although I am not a member of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, I respect their leadership team and enjoy the webinars they have been hosting throughout this crisis. On Tuesday, May 12th at 9:30 a.m. they will be hosting a webcast with Senator Christine Rolfes, Senator Mark Mullet, and Representative Amy Walen to discuss the our state’s emergency response and the impact of the crisis on the state budget. You can register here.
Update from University of Washington
The University of Washington released updated graphs showing their test results over time for COVID-19, as well as one that tracks the number of COVID-19 patients in UW Medicine facilities. UW Virology provides over 50% of all COVID-19 tests for the state. To view the UW Virology COVID-19 dashboard, click here.
King County Case Update
Today, Seattle – King County Public Health was reporting 77 new cases, bringing the total in the County to 6,940. In addition, they reported 5 new deaths, bringing the total in King County to 485.
Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember