March 16 update on COVID-19
In the ongoing effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our communities, the governor today ordered the closure of restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities statewide. He also placed additional limits on social gatherings. The new orders go into effect tonight at midnight and are in effect through March 31. Take-out, delivery and drive-thru food and beverage services are not banned.
These are unprecedented times and these circumstances are placing a tremendous burden on our local businesses, our economy and our overall quality of life. I know this isn’t easy. In fact, it’s awful. But if these very difficult, decisive actions truly slow the spread of COVID-19, our health care systems will have better capacity to respond and to save lives.
The virus we’re facing is serious.
Over the weekend, the number of COVID-19 cases in Snohomish County increased to over 200; the total in Washington has passed 900, and nationwide is nearly 3,500. Health officials warn these numbers could double every week – unless we take bold, immediate action. Our health care system is already overwhelmed and will not be able to keep up with increased demand for care. I therefore urge everyone in our community to take this health threat seriously, and to do your part to reduce the spread.
I’m asking our local employers to encourage teleworking for all staff for whom it is feasible to do so, and take other measures to isolate workers who cannot work remotely.
I’m asking our residents to avoid all non-essential interactions with others, and avoid all unnecessary travel outside the home.
I’m asking those over 60, or who have weakened immunity, to please stay home and minimize your opportunity for exposure. We want you safe.
And, I’m asking us all to look out for each other, and help where ever we can. That includes taking care of yourselves. Staying healthy is more important now than ever, so please practice good hygiene, get plenty of rest and exercise, and eat well. Many of our local restaurants will offer delivery or drive-thru service.
We have the ability to slow this pandemic down, but only if each and every one of us does our part. The severity of this is in our hands and I know that together we can get through this very difficult time.
I want us to look back on this with the knowledge that we did everything we possibly could to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.