We Can All Make A Difference – Updates
Dear Neighbors and Friends:
I want to start by thanking all of you that have contacted our office with questions, updates, and resources for our community as we continue to adapt through the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the continued stream of urgent matters, it is encouraging to see the actions and outreach in our District 2 communities even within the constraints of social distancing.
Please continue to share out information with our office and with one another. We all have a role to play in reducing transmission and minimizing the public health risks for those in need.
Below, you will find a new round of updates for the range of resources available to mitigate the impacts of the needed Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
Yours in service,
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay
GOV. INSLEE TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE AT 5 P.M. THURSDAY
Gov. Jay Inslee will give another update on the state’s COVID-19 response at a 5 p.m. press conference on Thursday. His office hasn’t shared further details, but he will be joined by Dr. John Wiseman, the secretary of health, Dr. Kathy Lofy, the state health officer, and Vice Admiral Dr. Raquel Bono, director for COVID-19 Health System Response Management.
Yesterday, Gov. Inslee said “it remains likely” that Washington will need to extend the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued on March 23. The order was initially set to last two weeks, and Inslee said he would be gathering guidance in the coming days before making a final decision on extending the order.
If you would like to watch it live, you can find a video stream here.
SPECIAL ENROLLMENT FOR WA HEALTH PLAN EXTENDED
A special enrollment period is now available through April 8, 2020 to qualified individuals who lose their employer-provided health insurance. Those who are currently uninsured should contact a Navigator for help filling out an application and selecting a plan. More information on enrollment can be found here. Contact information for Navigators across the state can be found here
NRESOURCES FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
We are living in an unprecedented and unpredictable cultural moment. This moment calls on us to go all in for all of us. Our families and neighborhoods are stronger, safer and healthier when we come together and take care of each other in moments of crisis.
Our friends at One America have compiled a tremendous list of resources in Washington State (some in multiple languages) to ensure everyone in our communities are able to receive the care and necessities they need. This includes resources for undocumented folks, Muslim communities, financial and health information, and even resources to stand against racism.
You can access these resources here or on the council’s www.kingcounty.gov/council/gethelp site.
RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
I continue to receive more information about resources to help support our small businesses during this time of economic uncertainty. Today, I received more information about resources, including coronavirus tax relief, business loans through Business Impact Northwest and through the Small Business Administration, assistance and support through several state agencies and much more. Our staff continues to gather those resources at the www.kingcounty.gov/council/gethelp site.
GOV. INSLEE ASKS BUSINESSES, SKILLED WORKERS TO CONTRIBUTE TO DIRE NEED FOR MEDICAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
In a media briefing Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said Washington has urgent needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cannot count on help from the federal government to meet those needs. Because of this shortage, he called on manufacturers, skilled workers and anyone else who could retool to make needed items – including masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and more – to consider doing so. Seattle-based Outdoor Research, for example, has started retooling to make critically needed PPE and expects to be making 100,000 masks a day or more once it is in full production.
If you can contribute either through donating or manufacturing equipment, head to coronavirus.wa.gov and visit the “how you can help” page to learn more.
HOMEOWNERS COULD GET HELP IF THEY CAN’T MAKE THEIR MORTGAGES DUE TO COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACTS
Gov. Inslee also 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.
LOANS, OTHER SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AS PART OF FEDERAL STIMULUS
Small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis may be able to get relief through the federal stimulus program approved last week. Businesses can apply immediately for up to $10,000 in fully forgivable Small Business Administration loans here. The application takes about 2 hours to complete and successful applicants will receive relief within 3 days.
e once it is in full production.
In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program offers fully forgivable Small Business Administration loans of up to $10 million provided they are used to cover employee wages, mortgage payments, and rent. At least 75% of the loan must go toward employee wages in order to be forgiven. Businesses can apply at any participating lender and more details are available here.