Stay Home, Stay Healthy
Dear Neighbors and Friends:
Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee officially announced a statewide order that requires everyone in the state to stay home, effective immediately.
This Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is similar to orders that other governors, in places such as California and New York, issued last week. It requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity. This will ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes and close all non-essential businesses.
The proclamation states it’s still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. Grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses will remain open. People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening, and dog walking — provided they follow social distancing rules.
Staying home will — quite literally — save lives. Let’s all do our part. Please read through the details of the order on the Governor’s website.
We are living during an unprecedented moment and we will continue to provide updated information as the situation continues to develop in our communities and around the state.
Below you will find a series of additional updates and resources.
As always, please stay safe and care for one another.
Yours in service,
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay
WHITE HOUSE DECLARES MAJOR DISASTER IN WASHINGTON STATE
On Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee shared that President Trump had declared a major disaster in Washington as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The declaration grants the state’s request for assistance with crisis counseling and training to address the impact of the outbreak on the mental health of affected Washingtonians. Other disaster assistance programs requested in Inslee’s letter remain under review by the White House, including expanded unemployment assistance and basic food benefits.
GOV. INSLEE NAMES STATE DIRECTOR FOR COVID-19 HEALTH RESPONSE MANAGEMENT
Gov. Inslee also announced Sunday that he had named retired Navy Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono as Washington state director for COVID-19 Health System Response Management.
Bono is currently a senior fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. As the former chief executive officer and director for the Defense Health Agency, Bono led a joint, integrated support agency that enabled all branches of the U.S. military medical services to provide health care services to those engaged in combat. She is the first woman surgeon in the military to hold the rank of vice admiral.
HARBORVIEW HALL NOW A RECOVERY CENTER
King County has joined with Harborview Medical Center to plan for opening an isolation and recovery center in the county’s Harborview Hall building, located at 326 Ninth Avenue.
Harborview Hall, which is across the street from Harborview Medical Center, will be repurposed to serve as a recovery site primarily for people who do not have a home to rest and recover and who may have other health needs requiring a level of monitoring.
This location will offer a very vulnerable population a safe place to recover, with onsite clinical support provided by medical center staff.
These isolation and recovery locations are all part of our continuing effort to slow the spread in our community and to preserve critical hospital beds for those with the most acute healthcare needs.
NEW TESTING PROGRAM TO BETTER UNDERSTAND COVID-19 OUTBEAK
To better understand how widespread the COVID-19 outbreak is and whether social distancing efforts are slowing the spread, Public Health – Seattle and King County has partnered with the Seattle Flu Study to launch a home testing program called SCAN.
The outbreak surveillance program will send home tests to a random cross-section of residents around King County and use the collected data to better predict the number of people who may be infected but unrecognized. SCAN will help answer questions like how the virus is affecting our kids, and which groups in King County are most at risk for infection, so we can better protect them.
People can sign up to participate – whether you have symptoms or not – or simply learn more by visiting scanpublichealth.org.
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. Child care and early learning programs serve a vitally important function in allowing parents to continue working and providing safe and enriching spaces for children to spend their days. Public Health’s guidance will help these providers prevent and prepare for cases of COVID-19.