COVID-19 update from the mayor
In lieu of our usual City Newsletter, I’d like to provide an update on the steps the City of Everett is taking in response to COVID-19.
The risk to the general public of becoming ill with COVID-19 is increasing and we are actively monitoring developments with state and local health officials.
I’m in daily contact with the Governor’s Office and other regional leaders and partners to coordinate our response, keep our communities healthy and ensure Everett is doing as much as possible to manage and minimize the spread.
While there's still so much we don't know about this virus, we have seen its devastating impacts in other parts of the world. We are taking proactive steps and standing united with our regional partners to limit its spread. The health and safety of our community will always be our top priority and it’s better that we take bold action early, than to be too late.
On March 4, I issued a proclamation of civil emergency for the City of Everett in coordination with Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and Snohomish County’s Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters. This step assures the City has the tools in place and is ready to act quickly when needed.
We’ve also taken steps City-wide to reduce potential exposure to the virus. I’ve directed all City employees who can work from home, to do so. We’ve increased cleaning and sanitizing of public spaces like our buses, meeting rooms and libraries, installed sanitation stations in City buildings and continue to share leading guidance from health officials with local businesses and organizations. Following recommendations from the Snohomish Health District, we’re practicing social distancing, which is meant to help protect our more vulnerable community members. This includes cancelling many City-sponsored events, programs and gatherings, and closing the Carl Gipson Senior Center and Forest Park Swim Center. We’ve created a web page, everettwa.gov/COVID19, and will continue to keep the community informed and updated.
As the virus expands throughout our state, local leaders may need to take even more drastic actions. We’ve learned COVID-19 can spread quite quickly and overwhelm health care systems. Our efforts aim to slow the rate of infection, so that our healthcare providers are better equipped to respond. On March 10, Governor Inslee announced new rules to protect those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
We recognize this is a very stressful time for many and that social isolation measures are a burden and have a very real negative economic impact to everyone in our community, especially to small businesses, tourism partners, and families, especially families already strapped for resources or living in poverty. To ease that burden, the Governor announced support and resources for workers and businesses. I continue to advocate for resources to ensure our region is better armed to face this challenge. We know this is hard and, unfortunately, it's likely to get worse before it gets better.
That said, each and every one of us can help limit the spread of this virus. The leading guidance from health officials is to keep ourselves and others safe by following common sense tips such as good hand washing hygiene and staying home when sick. Please take steps to protect your health and minimize the spread of the virus:
- Stay informed
- Frequently wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds throughout the day
- Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces
- If you or a loved one isn’t feeling well, stay home
- If you’re over the age of 60, or have a compromised immune system please avoid public gatherings and non-essential travel outside the home
- Visit the Department of Health and Snohomish Health District websites to learn more
These are troubling times. I want to reiterate that the actions we’re taking are precautionary, proactive and intended to keep members of our community healthy. I’d like to thank our residents, health care providers, regional leaders, businesses and community partners, as well as City staff, for doing their part to proactively respond to COVID-19. By following best practices and taking extra precautions, I believe we can make a difference.