November 16, 2020
City Hall Remains Closed to the Public
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With businesses operating in a very limited capacity, please note that the city does offer public restrooms in Church Creek and Heritage Park.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Governor Inslee issued a travel advisory for Washington (in coordination with California and Oregon) following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The advisory urges individuals arriving from other states or countries to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, and encourages Washingtonians to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries to help slow the spread of the virus. You can find additional information online here, and you can find Governor Inslee’s travel advisory here.
Governor Inslee announced further restrictions on gatherings and business. **Note- Changes for restaurants will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 am. Additional updates will be posted as they become available.
COVID cases surging, again
Wear a mask and continue to have fewer, smaller gatherings
Last week the state Department of Health reported 1,047 new COVID cases in a single day, the highest daily number since July. DOH is urging people to continue wearing a mask and to continue having fewer, smaller and safer gatherings and interactions.
With the holidays approaching, the temptations to set aside these basic best practices will be hard to resist but we can all help each other by finding creative ways to maintain our connections with friends and family. Check out the state’s Safer Gatherings page for ideas and tips.
The current statewide rate of diagnosed COVID cases per 100,000 people over two weeks is more than 117. Public health officials say the goal is to be below 25. You can view county numbers on the state’s Risk Assessment Dashboard.
Resources from the Washington State Department of Veteran's Affairs
Our WDVA offers all kinds of resources for veterans and their families, from counseling and employment support to housing and veterans homes. Learn more about what they offer here.
Auburn Virtual Remembrance Ceremony - Learn more
Virtual Veterans Career Fair - Free for veterans and their spouses - Learn more
Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters shared a plea with the public Tuesday morning to keep up with preventive measures and power through the fatigue of a prolonged pandemic response.
Executive Somers noted that the virus is spreading in situations that are hard to contain or control, such as gatherings of family or friends inside people’s homes. He acknowledged the hardship of not having these gatherings but urged people to remember that the more people they have contact with, the greater the risk of spreading COVID-19. Watch the briefing here, or read the transcript here.
Governor Inslee announced Western states will review vaccines together
Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that Washington is joining other western states to review the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines when approved by the FDA. This is an added layer of independent expert review that will help build confidence in the vaccine.
This panel of experts, begun by California Gov. Newsom last week, will expand with representatives from Washington, Oregon and Nevada.
"The FDA has made public information about the data required for authorizing a vaccine. That, combined with two independent federal groups, and our own Western States review process, should give the public pretty high confidence on the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine," Inslee said.
For more information, see the full press release.
Flu vaccine now available for uninsured adults at no cost
The state Department of Health is collaborating with Safeway Inc. and Albertsons Companies LLC to offer no-cost influenza (flu) vaccination for uninsured adults over the age of 18 to help prevent flu illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials are concerned that the presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system.
Twenty-three Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies across the state will offer flu vaccine free of charge through June 2021 to uninsured adults. The pharmacies will not charge an administration fee, and no proof of residency or immigration status will be required.
Find the list of participating locations on the Department of Health's website.
Everyone 6 months and older needs a new flu vaccine every year. Young children, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions, and those aged 65 and older are at high risk of complications from flu illness.
Adults who have insurance should also get vaccinated now. Flu vaccine for those age 19 and older is covered by most insurance companies and by Medicare and Apple Health (Medicaid). Washington also provides flu vaccine, and all recommended vaccines, at no cost to everyone under the age of 19.
The effort is a collaboration between Safeway, Albertsons and the Department of Health.
For help finding a health care provider or vaccine location, and to learn more about flu, visit www.KnockOutFlu.org
Community survey about acceptability of bluetooth technology for COVID-19 exposure notification
Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) are inviting Washington residents ages 18 and over to participate in the Washington COVID-19 and Technology Survey. Survey responses will help the UW and Washington State Department of Health better understand how to us technology to fight the ongoing pandemic. Participation is completely voluntary and responses will be kept confidential. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will close at the end of the day on Tuesday, November 10. For the English version of the survey, click here. For the Spanish version, click here. If you have any questions about the survey or your participation, you can contact the survey team at WaNotifySurvey@uw.edu.
$2 million in COVID relief grants now open for nonprofits
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on nonprofit organizations, with many experiencing increased demand for services and programs while at the same time dealing with disruption of services and programs, cancellation of contracts, funding losses due to canceled fundraisers, reduced donations and other issues affecting staff and volunteer capacity. The impacts are particularly hard on nonprofits led by and serving Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with Philanthropy Northwest to provide $2 million of relief funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act with a focus on community-based nonprofits and Tribal organizations most impacted by COVID-19.
How to apply
Grant applications are due by Nov. 6, 2020. Find all information and application materials here.
Technical or translation assistance for this grant can be provided by contacting email@example.com.. Commerce’s outreach team will help connect you to someone with assistance.
An online information session will be held in English via Zoom this week:
• Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 – 8 p.m. PDT
The Zoom conference line is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89880601482
Zoom meeting ID is: 898 8060 1482.
Via phone at 1-253-215-8782.
Working with strategic partners and through experience working with local organizations, Philanthropy NW developed application criteria and will award grants between $25,000 and $50,000, based on the organization’s need. Priority consideration will be given to programs that serve economically vulnerable areas especially in rural, remote and Tribal communities and whose leaders are reflective of the populations they serve. Small organizations and those serving unincorporated areas are encouraged to apply.
Kreidler extends emergency order on coronavirus testing and surprise billing to Nov. 24
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has extended two emergency orders. His order requiring health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) and his order protecting consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to medically-necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19 are both extended until Nov. 24.
Kreidler's order waiving cost-sharing applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans. The order on surprise billing applies to both in-state and out-of-state laboratories when a provider orders diagnostic testing for COVID-19.
Also, insurers must continue:
- Allowing a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
- Suspending any prior authorization requirement for treatment or testing of COVID-19.
- In addition, if an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing or treatment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost.
Read the full release.
To help non-filers, IRS sets Nov. 10 as ‘National EIP Registration Day’
The Internal Revenue Service today set Nov. 10 as 'National EIP Registration Day,' as the agency and partners across the country launch a final push to encourage everyone who doesn’t normally file a tax return to register to receive an Economic Impact Payment.
'National EIP Registration Day' will take place just a few days ahead of the extended Nov. 21 registration deadline. This special event will feature support from IRS partner groups inside and outside of the tax community, including those that work with low-income and underserved communities. These groups will help spread the word about the new Nov. 21 deadline and, in some cases, provide special support for people who still need to register for the payments.
The IRS has already sent nearly 9 million letters to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments but don’t normally file a tax return. The letters, along with the special Nov. 10 event, both urge people to use the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool, available exclusively on IRS.gov.
Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed up the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.
Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.
Childcare help available for essential workers
Your employment situation or position may qualify your family for Snohomish County’s CARES Act funded child care program.
Ensuring Snohomish County can meet the needs of families and workers during COVID is vital to our economy. Allocating CARES Act funds, Snohomish County has formed a Child Care Partnership with YMCA – Snohomish County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County to offset costs of full-day care. The YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs are using the state’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers List to determine eligibility.
In addition to the flier being available in English, please find attached PDFs of the flier in:
The Frequently Asked Questions document (in all six languages) and Child Care Locator Map are additional resources.
Call YMCA of Snohomish County and Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County. For more info: https://bit.ly/2Srkwvf
The Washington State Department of Health submitted its interim vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the stated deadline of October 16, 2020.
This plan is Washington state’s response to the request from the CDC for state and territorial health departments to answer questions and outline their preliminary plans for vaccine distribution. It describes how the department will approach the work of planning for and distributing an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once available. It also describes how ow crucial lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic vaccine distribution in 2009 informed our COVID-19 vaccine plan.
Read the full news release.
In a Press Conference Today, Governor Inslee Announced a New Proclamation for Higher Education
Additional safety measures for college students and the larger community will be implemented:
- Staff and Students will be required to wear masks in all public areas, and outside if around others.
- There will be no more than two people per sleeping areas.
- No more than 5 people in common areas.
- Socially distance and wear masks even with good friends.
- Meals on campus—grab and go or single tables.
Colleges will be required to provide isolation and quarantine facilities and students will be charged for this on a sliding scale.
Governor Inslee is asking individuals to take precautions on a personal basis. Wear a mask and social distance. Limit social gatherings and wear masks indoors and out, anytime you are with someone outside your household.
Check out the state's Safer Gatherings page on the state’s Coronavirus website. The webpage is designed to help people make safe choices during the fall and winter and includes information on alternatives to gatherings, ways to have safer gatherings, and a guide for having conversations with friends and family about gatherings during COVID-19. The Safer Gatherings page includes a safety checklist and information about holiday celebrations during COVID-19. The site launched in English, but a Spanish language site as well as fact sheets about having safer gatherings in several languages will be added soon.
Health District calls on on community for help to curb increasing cases
There are some key takeaways from new cases that staff are asking the community to help mitigate:
- Approximately 1 in 5 confirmed cases do not respond to Health District staff’s attempts to reach them. It is important to respond to those calls. Public health wants to ensure you are well and taking proper steps to protect yourself and your circles.
- A growing number of cases are refusing to provide the Health District with names of their close contacts or locations visited while potentially contagious, or employers are hesitating to provide information on their employees. Not only is this a failure to comply with WAC 246-101 and Governor Inslee’s Proclamation (20-25.6), but it severely hampers the Health District’s ability to do contract tracing efforts needed to stop the spread of disease.
- The majority of new cases are the result of too many people in close settings, especially without face coverings. Even in limited social gatherings, people should still wear masks when around people outside of their household. People can be contagious up to two days before they start to feel any symptoms.
“Rather than people worrying about another ‘stay home’ period, it would really be a better use of everyone’s energy and efforts if we limit our social gatherings now and mask up,” said Shawn Frederick, administrative officer for the Snohomish Health District. “If we practice good social distancing and use masks when around people outside of our household, we don’t need to worry about the what-if’s. We absolutely have the ability to control this now with our individual efforts.”
Read the full press release.
Drive-thru testing Oct. 19-23
Drive-thru testing will continue to be this next week at 3900 Broadway. Online registration for appointments is open. Learn more at www.snohd.org/drive-thru-testing.
In addition to the Everett site, the Health District will also be offering testing at the Lynnwood Food Bank on Tuesday, October 20. Appointments will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 5320 176th St SW.
COVID cases rising across all age groups on state's west side
The State Department of Health on Wednesday released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19 transmission. Report findings include:
- Transmission is increasing in western Washington and recently plateauing in eastern Washington. The best estimates of the reproductive number (how many new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) were 1.12 in western Washington and 0.94 in eastern Washington as of September 27.
- Case counts in western Washington are increasing across all age groups and over broad geographic areas. This suggests increases are due to broad community spread, not driven by a single type of activity or setting. Though all age groups are seeing increases, the rising trends among older people are particularly concerning because these groups tend to experience more severe illness.
- Recent growth in cases is widely distributed across a number of counties. Some larger counties, including Snohomish and King, are seeing steady increases. Several smaller counties, including Skagit, are experiencing increases, though the total number of recent cases remains low.
School and COVID- What to Expect
Read the Snohomish Health District blog for more information
Community Resource Fair Oct. 16-17 in Lynwood and Everett
A Drive-Thru Community Resource Fair is scheduled Friday and Saturday at locations in Lynnwood and Everett. Get information on important community resources available such as rental assistance programs, voter registration, financial aid, and other COVID-related information. Social distancing will be observed, please be sure to wear a face covering.
State launches site to encourage safer gatherings
This time of year, families and friends will be making choices about whether to gather for celebrations, game days or other seasonal events. Gathering in groups—even with people we know—may spread COVID-19. The more people we interact with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of becoming infected.
COVID-19 case rates are rising again in Snohomish County, and data suggest that’s the result of too many people choosing to gather in close settings, particularly without wearing face coverings.
The safest action, especially if you’re in a high-risk category, is to avoid gatherings and find different ways to celebrate.
The state has launched a new Safe Gatherings webpage that offers ideas on different ways to celebrate, tips for safer gatherings, and ideas for talking with friends and family about establishing and following ground rules for gatherings this fall and winter.
Insurance Commissioner extends pandemic order through Nov. 13
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler extended his emergency order again, directing all state-regulated health insurers to make additional coverage changes to aid consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. His order is in effect until Nov. 13 and requires health insurers to:
- Continue coverage for providing telehealth via methods including telephone and video chat tools such as Facetime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangout video, Skype and Go-to-Meeting.
- Cover all medically necessary diagnostic testing for flu and certain other viral respiratory illnesses billed during a provider visit for COVID-19 with no copay, coinsurance or deductible.
- Treat drive-up testing sites for COVID-19 as provider visit with no copay, coinsurance or deductible.
For more information, see the full press release.
Governor Inslee announced several updates to Washington's Safe Start reopening plan. The changes seek to align guidance and adjustments to regulations of several industries. Following a spike in COVID cases in July, Inslee announced a pause to the Safe Start reopening plan. With today’s announcement, all 39 counties will remain in their current phases, but the governor’s announcement allows for more activity in some of the phases.
The updated guidance is effective immediately.
These guidelines will align regulations with that of museums, allowing some indoor activity in Phase 2 at 25% capacity. Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines will align school related and non-school related sports guidance. Tournaments and crowds are prohibited in counties that aren’t in the low-risk category, but these guidelines will allow more school and non-school sports, both indoor and outdoor, according to a combination of local metrics. These metrics are aligned with state metrics for school opening recommendations. It also provides specific protocols for transportation, group size and facial coverings. Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines will allow for occupancy in Phase 2 at 25% and 50% in Phase 3. Theater attendees will be required to maintain a 6 feet social distance between households and to wear facial coverings at all times when not eating and drinking. Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines will move alcohol cutoff from 10 PM to 11 PM for Phases 2 and 3, as well as eliminates the indoor household member restriction for indoor dining. Additionally, the guidelines will allow for the increase of table size to six in Phase 2 and eight in Phase 3. Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines will increase the total number of wedding reception attendees to 50 in Phase 3. Read the full guidance here.
Retail Events (craft sales shows, etc.)
These guidelines will expand the miscellaneous venues guidance to allow outdoor retail event shows in Phase 3 only, capping attendance to 200 people. Read the full guidance here.
These guidelines will allow for open houses, but limit attendance by the counties' gathering size limit in accordance to their Phase. Read the full guidance here.
Outdoor recreation (running/bicycling/etc.)
These guidelines will provide protocols for Phases 2 and 3 for races, bicycle tours and rides, runs, cross country skiing races, biathlons, canoe and kayak races, marathons, cross country running competitions, triathlons, and multi-sport competitions with more than 12 participants. Read the memo here. Read the full guidance here.
Water Recreation Facilities
This guidance updates the current guidance for water recreational activities and facilities in Modified Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 counties. Read the memo here. Read the full guidance here.
Governor Inslee's office has released guidance for a safer Halloween.
Tips for a Safer Halloween
- Wear a cloth face covering
- Avoid confined spaces
- Avoid close contact with people outside your household
- Wash or sanitize your hands often
- Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19
Read the full guidelines and suggestions here.
Lost Wages Assistance Program Payments to Arrive this Week
Lost Wages Assistance program payments are now processing - funds should start to reach eligible claimants this week. Payments will be retroactive for all weeks for which the claimant met eligibility requirements. Refer to the Employment Security Department website for details.
Job Search Requirements to Remain Suspended through October 1
The job search requirement of unemployment claimants remains suspended through Oct. 1. The soonest that unemployment claimants must actively seek work is Oct. 4. Claimants may continue to answer “no” to the job search question on weekly claims until the suspension is lifted. Learn more on the job search requirements page.
Funding Available to Support Community Youth Programming
Approximately $9 million in federal CARES Act funding is available to support nonprofit youth programs serving school-age kits and young adults. The Washington State Department of Commerce will partner with School’s Out Washington to distribute the funds. Application instructions may be found at this link. The program is also seeking peer grant reviewers - those interested should complete this form.
No update yet available on expanded unemployment benefits. Although an executive order was signed on August 8th to augment unemployment benefits, claimants will not yet see an increased benefit. Washington State is assessing the Presidential Memorandum. Refer to the Employment Security Department website and social media for developments
Extra step required to submit Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly claim
Claimants receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) should be aware of a recent procedural change. Every week a claim is submitted, the Employment Security Department (ESD) must certify eligibility. ESD will ask claimants to confirm that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, unable to work, or unavailable to work for approved COVID-19 reasons as required by federal law. ESD recommends submitting weekly claims through the online eServices interface where the additional questions have been added.
Looking for your next opportunity?
WorkSource is available to help. Refine your skills, learn new ones and land a job with the help of WorkSource’s dedicated experts. Join an online workshop and get virtual help at WorkSourceWA.com. Join a virtual job fair to connect directly with organizations and employers. Explore available opportunities and participate in 1-on-1 chats with representatives from participating organizations. Share your background and experience and get all your questions answered!
Updates to "Personal Services" rules require masking of both customer and service provider
Business activity requirements for "Personal Services" applies to cosmetologists, hairstylists, manicurists, tanning salons, makeup and tattoo artists, and other similar categories. New language clarifies that all customers of these businesses must wear a face covering unless directed by a medical professional who says otherwise. That means that certain services such as facials or beard trimmings are no longer permitted.
Recent updates for agricultural events, religious organizations, fitness centers and gatherings
Requirements for religious and faith-based organizations and indoor fitness and training have been updated recently. Requirements for agricultural events were recently announced to apply to livestock and horse exhibitions as well as companion animal shows. An FAQ document was published recently to clarify some details related to gatherings, food and alcohol service and events.
Social Gatherings vs. Business Activity
Social gatherings must not exceed 5 persons in Modified Phases 1 and 2, or 10 persons in Phase 3
A gathering refers to a social setting in which non-household members convene, indoors or outside. Social gatherings are a leading vector of COVID-19; sustained close contact with non-household members is known to be a source of spread.
Business activity is treated differently than social activity
By contrast, business activity generally refers to commercial activity or organized events. Business activity is limited by a percentage of capacity or a standard for social distancing on their own property. If not in their place of business, then they must abide by the above gathering limits for their respective county. Weddings and funerals, religious organizations and restaurants have specific regulations that take precedence over gathering limits
Need help with your energy bill? Utility payment assistance is available.
If you need assistance in paying your energy bill, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) makes energy payment assistance available to residents of Washington through a network of community action agencies and local municipalities. Visit the state Department of Commerce’s LIHEAP page for information on how to apply.
Puget Sound Energy has an energy assistance program to help residential income qualified customers.
Snohomish County PUD has launched the Community Support Plan to help residential and small business customers struggling to pay their electric and water bills.
CBPP leading outreach effort to help non-filers get their stimulus payments
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has just released a new analysis on the estimated 12 million people who are at risk of missing out on their Economic Impact Payments (EIP) because they haven’t filed with the IRS.
The analysis reports that 185,000 of those people are Washington state residents. With $1,200 payments for adults and $500 for children, that equals an estimated $179,000,000 in potential payments.
Eligible individuals have until Oct. 15 to file with the IRS to receive their EIP. The CBPP is providing the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) resources to help with outreach to those individuals that may be eligible for EIP but have not yet filed with the IRS.
You can learn more with this flyer.
Department of Health Launches CORONA Survey
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) launched the Community Recovery-Oriented Needs Assessment, or the CORONA survey. The survey is an effort to assess the behavioral, economic, social, and emotional impacts and the needs of communities across the state as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The CORONA survey results will inform immediate, long-term, and ongoing actions that DOH and local health jurisdictions can take to address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on Washingtonians.
In order to appropriately and equitably inform recovery plans at the state and local levels, DOH is requesting residents from across Washington to go to www.wacoronasurvey.com to take part in the survey. (To take the survey by phone, call 855-530-5787—interpreters are available to assist.)
The survey is voluntary and confidential. At the end of the survey, participants will be given the option to provide their name, phone number and/or email address. Each week of the survey, three participants will receive a $100 Amazon.com gift code as a thank you for their time and participation. If you have additional questions about the CORONA Survey, you can call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.
Health Officer Recommends Remote Learning for Start of School Year in Snohomish County
Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District, today provided a recommendation to Snohomish County public school superintendents and private school administrators that they plan for distance learning for the start of the school year
The ability to safely resume in-person instruction in schools is directly linked to the actions of the community. There are steps we all must take to slow the spread of COVID-19 and create an environment that allows for schools to reopen for on-site learning. These include:
Wearing a face cover in public
Maintaining at least six feet of distance from non-household members
Avoiding gatherings larger than five people from outside of your household, and keeping your social group consistent
Staying home and getting tested if you are feeling ill
Insurance Commissioner Extends Two Emergency Orders Related to COVID-19 Testing
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has extended two emergency orders related to COVID-19 testing.
The emergency order protecting consumers from receiving surprise bills for lab fees related to medically-necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is extended until Aug. 27. His order applies to both in-state and out-of-state laboratories, when a provider orders diagnostic testing for COVID-19. His order also encourages health insurers to notify his office if out-of-network laboratories are not publishing cash prices or if they do not accept the published cash price as final payment for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
The emergency order requiring health insurers to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for COVID-19 is also in effect until Aug. 27. In the order, insurers also must continue:
Allowing a one-time early refill for prescription drugs.
Suspending any prior authorization requirement for treatment or testing of COVID-19.
In addition, if an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing or treatment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost.
Governor Inslee released a memo providing additional clarity for changesannounced on Thursday, July 23, to the Safe Start Washington plan.
As detailed below, the memo includes updates to gatherings, live entertainment, restaurants and taverns, entertainment and recreational centers, card rooms, movie theaters, and weddings and funerals. This memo builds upon guidance released last week.
Additionally, last week Governor Inslee announced the extension of the state’s eviction moratorium (20-19.3) through October 15. This moratorium will continue to support Washingtonians facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extension makes modifications to the prior moratorium, including:
- Makes minor clarifications to existing restrictions, such as clarifying that law enforcement may serve eviction orders that include findings required by the proclamation.
- Creates a workgroup to help inform potential changes to the moratorium in the short-term and the long-term, if needed. The workgroup is specifically asked to consider how future extensions could address options to increase rent.
Lastly, today Governor Inslee extended the pause indefinitely on counties moving ahead phases in the Safe Start Washington plan. This extension follows the pause announced earlier this month due to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
Governor Inslee Places Further Restrictions in Press Conference, July 23.
- Statewide moratorium on evictions is extended to October 15
- Masks will be required in all common areas outside of your own home, inside your home if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have visitors.
- Movie theaters reduced to 25% occupancy
The full list of restrictions are linked here.
Governor Inslee Orders Ban on Indoor and Outdoor Music
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Stanwood Summer Car Concerts are canceled for July. We will reevaluate the August concerts closer to the concert dates.
Additional $600 in Federal Benefit for Unemployed Workers Set to End July 25
Unless Congress acts to extend or adjust it, the additional $600 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program (FPUC) benefits, available under the federal CARES Act, will stop after the week ending Sat., July 25, 2020. FPUC is entirely federally funded and available only at federal discretion. State employment agencies administer the benefits but do not have a say in whether these benefits are extended. More details here.
Safely Returning to School Will Require Effort, State Says
The state Department of Health has published a back to school blog post, updating the latest information about efforts to reopen Washington’s classrooms. Among other things, the post explores a report released last week that suggests climbing COVID-19 infection rates and increasing travel by the public are creating unsafe conditions for resuming traditional in-person instruction in the fall.
“We must stop this increase by the end of August in order to reopen schools,” the post said. “We are more likely to be able to reopen schools if we all:
- Continue to restrict our travel and the number of people we see socially.
- Wear cloth face coverings in public.
- Stay six feet or more away from other people.
- Get a COVID-19 test if you feel sick, even if you don’t have a fever.
- Stay home if you feel at all under the weather.
- Wash our hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.”
Read the full post for more information.
Kreidler Extends Emergency Order on Telehealth Coverage for Another 30 Days
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler extended his emergency order directing all state-regulated health insurers to make additional coverage changes to aid consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. His order is in effect until Aug. 16 and requires health insurers to:
- Continue coverage for providing telehealth via methods includingtelephone and video chat tools such as Facetime, FacebookMessenger video chat, Google Hangout video, Skype and Go-to-Meeting.
- Cover all medically necessary diagnostic testing for flu and certainother viral respiratory illnesses billed during a provider visit forCOVID-19 with no copay, coinsurance or deductible.
- Treat drive-up testing sites for COVID-19 as provider visit with nocopay, coinsurance or deductible.
To help free up hospital beds, Kreidler is directing health insurers to waive or expedite prior authorization requirements for home healthcare or long term care facility services to speed up discharging patients who are ready to leave.
For more information please read the Insurance Commissioner’s news release and Tweet
Safe Start county advancements remain paused
On July 2, the Department of Health announced a pause on advancing counties from their current Safe Start phase. That pause remains in effect - no counties have advanced within the Safe Start program and will not until the pause is lifted. Find your county’s Safe Start phase and permissible activities within each phase on the Washington State Coronavirus Response website. During Governor Inslee’s July 14 press conference, it was announced that advancements will be paused through July 28.
New business activity guidance issued by the Office of the Governor
Several business activity guidance documents have been updated to reflect changes in understanding of the spread of COVID-19. Live entertainment and bar service were recently discontinued in restaurants and bars. Some construction workers from out-of-state may be subject to quarantine or testing. Film production and agriculture are subject to amended rules related to face coverings, distancing and sanitation
Masking and COVID-19 notification requirements for businesses
As of July 7, businesses are required to demand that all customers and employees comply with the statewide face covering requirement. The statewide order requires that masks be worn inside any building or business open to the public, outdoor public areas when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, and other settings. No goods or services are to be furnished to customers not in compliance with statewide face covering requirements. Refer to the original order for a full list of requirements and exceptions for face coverings. Individuals with certain health or medical conditions are excepted and are not required to produce documentation of the condition to be considered exempt. Please be considerate of those unable to wear a mask, they should not be shamed or ridiculed.
Best practices to address unmasked customers detailed
The Office of the Governor has offered best practices for business owners in summary of recent face covering requirements. Anticipating exchanges between businesses and unmasked customers, the document offers some do’s (ask if a medical issue complicates mask use, arrange certain safety accommodations) and don’ts (ask for details or proof of disability or medical condition). Please be considerate of those unable to wear a mask, they should not be shamed or ridiculed.
Rate of newly-diagnosed cases increasing rapidly
From June 8 to July 8, the rate of newly-diagnosed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents nearly doubled. In that month, the rate increased from 56.8 to 111.9. The state goal is a figure under 25. In the last two weeks, 8,442 new cases were discovered. While testing is steadily increasing, the rate of new cases exceeds the rate of increase in testing. This dramatic increase in new cases has delayed reopening activity under the Safe Start plan.
Leave is available to sick workers or those caring for a sick family member
Community spread of COVID-19 is increasing statewide. Businesses and workers may wish to prepare for the possibility of illness. Paid Family and Medical Leave is available to workers that require time off to care for themselves or a family member due to a qualifying event, such as a serious health condition (including COVID-19). Workers may use accrued paid sick leave if they are sick, if they are caring for a qualified family member who is sick, if their child’s day care or school is closed for COVID-19 reasons and they need to provide care, or if their workplace is closed by a public official in connection with COVID-19 and the employment relationship isn’t terminated through a layoff. Additionally, the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with additional paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. In cases of documented or probably workplace COVID-19 exposure, affected workers may be eligible for worker’s compensation.
ESD claims center continues to focus on outbound calls through July 19
Inbound calls to the Employment Security Department claims center will continued to be limited through July 19 as agents prioritize outbound calls to resolve complex issues for the longest-waiting customers. Customers can still submit weekly claims online or use the automated telephone system to file a weekly claim at 800-318-8400. Customers may also call the questions hotline for general unemployment questions unrelated to specific claims at 833-572-8400. Visit ESD’s FAQ page for answers to common questions about returning to work.
National Hire a Veteran Day virtual job fair to be held on July 23
On July 23, the Employment Security Department (ESD) will host a National Hire a Veteran Day virtual job fair in collaboration with Worksource Washington and Washington State YesVets. Job seekers can engage with over 40 companies and government agencies looking to hire veterans and chat live with recruiters, all at no cost. Job seekers may register here, and interested employers may contact YesVets to inquire about participation.
Based on current COVID-19 activity and other metrics, an application for Phase 3 will not be submitted today, June 26th, by Snohomish County officials. A minimum delay of three weeks is anticipated.
Snohomish County Leaders Continue to Monitor COVID - 19 Activity and remain cautiously optimistic about the course of the disease in general. Officials will continue monitoring data in the coming days to determine when to proceed with an application to the Secretary of Health. Read more on the Snohomish Health District website.
Mask Distribution Available to Eligible Residents
The City of Stanwood has received face coverings from Snohomish County and is partnering with the Stanwood-Camano Food Bank and Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano to distribute 4,000 face coverings to eligible residents.
The Stanwood-Camano Food Bank will distribute to families, during the client check in process, on food distribution days – Wednesdays from 10 – 3 and Saturdays from 10 – 2. During the first week of July, Saturday distribution will take place on Friday, July 3rd. There will be no distribution on July 4th.
The Community Resource Center will be available to distribute to clients Monday - Thursday, 9am-4pm.
|Stanwood Camano Food Bank|
27030 102nd Ave NW, Stanwood
|Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano|
9612 271st St NW, Stanwood
360-629-5257 x 1
Snohomish Health Officer, Christopher Spitters, has issued a revised order on gatherings and events in Snohomish County.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby DECLARED and ORDERED as follows:
1. All events of 250 or greater attendees are prohibited.
2. Events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited unless event organizers take the following steps to minimize risk:
• Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees)
• Social distancing recommendations must be met (i.e., people staying 6 feet from each other, aside from momentary and minimal contact at closer distances when
• Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic
• Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees
• Environmental cleaning guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily
or more frequently).
Read the full Order here.
Gov. Inslee, Secretary Wiesman Announce Mandatory Use of Facial Coverings Statewide Effective Friday, June 26
In a press conference yesterday, Governor. Jay Inslee and Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced an order that mandates the use of cloth face coverings in most public areas. The order takes effect June 26.
Effective Friday, the Washington State Department of Health requires you to wear a cloth face covering in public when you cannot stay six feet (or two meters) away from others. You must wear a face covering in indoor public settings except when you eat, and outdoors when you cannot stay six feet away from others at all times. You do not need to wear a cloth face covering in your home when you are only with people in your household, or when you are alone in your car. You do not need to wear one when you exercise outdoors with plenty of space.
Some people should not wear cloth face coverings:
- Children under two years of age
- People who have disabilities that:
- Prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings
- Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings
- People who have respiratory conditions or breathing trouble
- People who have been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings
Violations of the facial covering directive will be a misdemeanor.
Further, Governor. Inslee announced he will require all Yakima businesses to require customers to wear facial coverings to gain entry to the business.
Snohomish County has officially moves into Phase 2 of reopening, June 05, 2020.
Safe Start Phased Reopening County-by-County
The Governor, in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health, has established a data-driven approach to reopen Washington and modify physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. Washington will move through the phased reopening county-by-county allowing for flexibility and local control to address COVID-19 activity geographically. Read the Safe Start Phased Reopening County-by-County Plan here.
Snohomish County Commissioners, along with the Snohomish Health District, have voted and approved submission of the application for variance to move to the county to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan.
This is a significant move for our local economy and getting people back to work in a safe manner. The next step will be for the state to approve the application.
Washington’s Phased Approach to Reopening Business and Modifying Physical Distancing Measures
|High-Risk Populations*||Continue to Stay Home, Stay Healthy||Continue to Stay Home, Stay Healthy||Continue to Stay Home, Stay Healthy||Resume public interactions, with physical distancing|
|Recreation||Some outdoor recreation (hunting, fishing, golf, boating, hiking)||All outdoor recreation involving fewer than 5 people outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.)||-Outdoor group rec. sports activities (5-50 people)|
-Recreational facilities at <50% capacity (public pools, etc.)
|Resume all recreational activity|
|Gatherings (social, spiritual)|
- Drive in spiritual service with one household per vehicle
|Gather with no more than 5 people outside your household per week||Allow gatherings with no more than 50 people||Allow gatherings with >50 people|
|Travel||Only essential travel|
Limited non-essential travel within proximity of your home
|Resume non-essential travel||Continue non-essential travel|
Business / Employers
- Essential businesses open
- Existing construction that meet agreed upon criteria
- Automobile sales
- Retail (curb-side pick-up orders only)
- Car washes
- Pet walkers
- Remaining manufacturing
- New construction
- In-home/domestic services (nannies, housecleaning, etc.)
- Retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions)
- Real estate
- Professional services/office-based businesses (teleworking remains strongly encouraged)
- Hair and nail salons/Barbers
- Restaurants <50% capacity table size no larger than 5
- Restaurants <75% capacity/ table size no larger than 10
- Bars at <25% capacity
- Indoor gyms at <50% capacity
- Movie theaters at <50% capacity
- Government (teleworking remains strongly encouraged)
- All other business activities not yet listed except for nightclubs and events with greater than 50 people
- Concert venues
- Large sporting events
- Resume unrestricted staffing of work-sites, but continue to practice physical distancing and good hygiene
*High-risk populations are currently defined by CDC as persons 65 years of age and older, people of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled) including people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, people who have serious heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised, people with severe obesity, people with diabetes, people with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and people with liver disease; people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
CCS Launches the Snohomish County Diaper, Wipes, and Formula Distribution Project
Catholic Community Services (CCS) has received funding from the Community Foundation of Snohomish County to distribute emergency baby diapers, wipes, and formula to any Snohomish County family who has been impacted by COVID-19, joining forces with community partners to coordinate distribution sites throughout the county. For general information, please call CCS PREPARES Program at 206-487-2414 or Snohomish County Network Builder at 425-760-1895.
Stanwood Distribution Site: Stanwood Camano Food Bank - 360-629-2789
USDA Approves Program to Feed Kids in Washington
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Washington has been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.
Washington will be able to operate Pandemic EBT, a supplemental food purchasing benefit to current SNAP participants and as a new EBT benefit to other eligible households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.
For the 2019-2020 school year, Washington had approximately 511,000 children eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch, or approximately 43% of children in participating schools.
For more information please read USDA’s news release.
Sno-Isle Libraries Launches Virtual Worker Retraining Pilot Program
Sno-Isle is currently inviting potential participants to apply for the Virtual Worker Retraining pilot program. The goal of this project is to help out-of-work individuals gain access to in-demand jobs in Information Technology. Sno-Isle Libraries plans to assist 20 individuals to achieve a CompTIA A+ certificate, an entry-level IT certification that is required for many IT help desk jobs.
Twenty applicants will be accepted, provided with a study guide and, eventually, an exam voucher for the two tests required for CompTIA A+ certification. Participants will be placed in a “learning circle” led by two library staff facilitators. Sno-Isle Staff will not act as content experts or teachers, but rather facilitators, allowing for peer-led discussions around the content.
- Applicants should live in the Sno-Isle Libraries service area (Snohomish or Island county), have some beginner IT background and be ready to study for the test.
- Individuals will have had their employment impacted by COVID-19.
- Priority will be given to applicants who are underrepresented in IT.
The application period is open and will close on June 10. Read more or apply here.
Unemployment Fraudulent Unemployment Claims are on the rise
If you suspect that you may have been effected, follow these steps:
✅ Step One – Contact your employer’s HR department to report the incident.
✅ Step Two – Immediately contact WA State Employment Security Department to report the fraud.
- Toll-free number: 800-246-9763
- Faxing a letter to: 360-902-9771
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred method of notice)
Complete an online benefits-fraud reporting form on ESD’s website: https://www.esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud
✅ Step Three – Report the fraudulent activity to the three Major Credit Bureaus.
• Experian 1-888-397-3742
• TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
• Equifax 1-888-766-0008
✅ Step Four – File a fraud report with the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftc.gov/)
✅ Step Five – Keep Notes
Hang on to any paper trail that you can reference: such as notes, copies of emails, reports, letters received, etc.
Gov. Inslee Provides Update on COVID-19 Response
Gov. Jay Inslee gave an update to the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. The briefing included a short discussion of allowing some non-urgent (elective) surgeries and procedures and an announcement that the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order will be extended past May 4, without a specified end date. There was a lengthy discussion of the metrics that must be considered to start opening the economy in phases. The Governor plans to show the phases in which the economy will be reopened in a news conference on Friday, May 1. View the recording on TVW.
Inslee Issues Additional Guidance on Construction Activities
On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a plan to allow current construction projects to be completed. Today, the governor clarified the initial guidance memo and issued a guide to frequently asked questions about construction activities.
The guidance is an addendum to his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation, the construction requirements that apply to all previously and newly authorized construction activities in Washington as long as Gubernatorial Proclamation 20-25, or any extension, is in effect.
Authorized construction now includes:
• Construction previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and Gov. Inslee’s March 25, 2020, memo on construction.
• Construction not previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and the March 25, 2020, memo that was in existence on March 23, 2020. For purposes of this memo, in existence means construction activity that is a) needed to fulfill an obligation under a contract effective prior to March 23, 2020, or b) authorized by a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23, 2020.
To comply with the order to re-open, Contractors and builders will be required to have strict workplace safety guidelines in place, in order to start projects back up.
Phase 1 Construction Restart COVID-19 Job Site Requirements
Use IRS Non-Filers Tool to Get Economic Impact Payment;
Many Low-Income, Homeless Qualify
New Spanish language version unveiled
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds low-income Americans to use the free, online tool Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to quickly and easily register to receive their Economic Impact Payment.
Recommendations on Cloth Face Coverings
The Washington State Department of Health and the CDC now recommend that we wear cloth face coverings in public places where we cannot reliably stay six feet away from other people. This might include your weekly trip to the grocery store, or a necessary trip to the doctor’s office or pharmacy. Or it could be more frequent, if you are an essential worker, and your job unavoidably brings you within six feet of people. Read More Here.
Effective May 4, all Costco members and guests must wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while at Costco. This requirement does not apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. The use of a mask or face covering should not be seen as a substitute
Mayor Kelley joined other mayors in Snohomish County to collaborate on a message to our communities.
Thank you, Mayor Kelley for the long hours and tireless efforts you have given to helping the community throughout the pandemic.
In a press conference April 20th, Governor Inslee spoke about the safe return to public life in Washington State.
The return to public life will occur in measured steps, guided by science, and informed by our public health needs, ability to mitigate impacts, and the response of our communities and will use that data to make decisions about loosening or tightening restrictions on the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. A preliminary three-step plan was laid out:
1. Protect the Health and Safety of Washingtonians
2. Facilitate a Safe Start and Transition to Economic Recovery
3. Support All People and Communities
Governor Inslee’s Policy Brief can be read here.
We will continue to post information as it is received. Please monitor this page for updates.
Governor Inslee Expands Eviction Moratorium and Adds Additional Protections for Residential and Some Commercial Tenants
In a press release issued April 16, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a new proclamation that extends and expands the original order through June 4th. Just as in the original order, the new order prevents landlords from evicting in all situations that fall within the Landlord Tenant Act, and prohibits law enforcement from assisting in any evictions, but today’s proclamation also:
- Prohibits residential evictions in other dwelling situations, including but not limited to:
- Lots/parcels (some motor home owners own the vehicle but lease the lot)
- Transitional housing
- Public lands – camping grounds
- Prohibits enforcement of agreements to vacate.
- Prohibits a landlord from requiring a non-paying tenant to move to a lesser unit, and prevents landlords from threatening to take action against tenants.
- Prohibits landlords from assessing or threatening to assess late fees or other charges for non-payment.
- Prohibits landlord from assessing (or threatening to assess) rent for housing/parcel where the tenants access or use was prevented as a result of COVID. Such as
- Seasonal/college housing closed;
- People who planned to move in but are prevented from doing so due to COVID-19;
- People who were forced to leave due to COVID needs of their own or others.
- Prohibits landlords from increasing rents or deposits for residential and commercial units.
- As it relates to commercial rental properties, this prohibition applies only if the commercial tenant has been materially impacted by the COVID-19, whether personally impacted and is unable to work or whether the business itself was deemed non-essential or otherwise lost staff or customers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- This proclamation protects commercial tenants by prohibiting rent increases or threats of rent increases.
- Prohibits landlords from treating unpaid rent and charges as an enforceable debt, unless the landlord demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence to a court that the resident was offered, and refused or failed to comply with, a reasonable repayment plan that was reasonable based on the individual financial, health, and other circumstances of that resident.
Note: All rent payments delayed through this moratorium will still be owed but a landlord must offer a tenant a reasonable repayment plan to enforce any collection of that debt.
Read the full proclamation here.
Snohomish County to Provide Update on COVID-19 Response
The Joint Information Center will host a Zoom press opportunity tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters, and Snohomish County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Matt Lacy.
The video will be posted at noon the same day and available for viewing at https://www.snohd.org/495/COVID-19-General-Information.
Verdant Health Commission Update
The Verdant Health Commission is partnering with a number of local organizations to increase access to services to support the health of our individuals and families in need.
Verdant’s focus so far has been on investing in programs to increase access to nutritious food and mental health services. To date, Verdant has invested approximately $189,000 and the partnerships already in place include:
Access to Nutritious Food
• Edmonds Food Bank
• Lynnwood Food Bank
• Foundation for Edmonds School District
Access to Mental Health Services
• Center for Human Services
• Project Access Northwest
Partnerships that includes both nutritious food and mental health access include:
• Korean Women’s Association
For more information please visit Verdant Health Commission.
WorkSource Centers Open Online to Provide Access to Jobs and Employment Resources
Employment Security is a proud partner in the statewide WorkSource system, which provides employment and training assistance to job seekers and businesses. While WorkSource centers are closed for in-person services during the COVID-19 outbreak, customers can still get help from WorkSource staff by phone and through the Live Chat feature on WorkSourceWA.com. The website provides access to thousands of Washington jobs and other employment resources. Chat agents cannot answer unemployment benefit questions
WA Food Fund Needs More Donations
Today, Gov. Jay Inslee urged more corporations and residents to donate to the state’s food assistance fund to help meet increasing demands. More than $1 million has been raised for the WA Food Fund, but $12 million is still needed. Every dollar donated helps provide meals for a child or family in need. Visit https://philanthropynw.org/wa-food-fund to learn more and donate.
Your Well-Being is Important
This crisis has put tremendous stress on families, whether you’re working from home, furloughed, laid-off, or a student trying to figure out how to continue your education.It’s critical that you take care of yourself and your family’s mental health and well-being.
Resources to Protect Seniors
It’s important that we do everything possible to protect those most vulnerable to dying of COVID-19. People over the age of 65 are especially at risk. Gov. Jay Inslee recently issued a proclamation to protect high-risk workers, including those aged 65 and up or anyone with pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable. There’s also a new and comprehensive resource page for seniors, which you can find here.
FDA - How You Can Make a Difference During the COVID19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in our everyday lives. As we each do our part to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease, we look to the helpers all around us and wonder if we, too, could do more. Here are some ways you and your family can help. Read more from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)
Watch Out for Scams Related to Economic Impact Payments
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urges the community to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website, or share personal or financial information. Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov for official information. The IRS tool to check the status of your stimulus payment, update your banking information or address, or for non-filers to enter payment information to get their checks is at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
SBA Unable to Accept New Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs are saving millions of jobs, providing much needed relief, and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time. As of this morning, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently unable to accept new applications for the PPP based on available appropriations funding. Also, the SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the EIDL COVID-19 related assistance program, including EIDL Advances, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued this joint statement with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program — a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program — at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks." Additional Resources for Small Businesses The SBA and local partners are committed to help small businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. The following are additional resources for small businesses:
• Funding: SBA 7(a), 504 and microloans, on which the SBA is offering Debt Relief; or, SBA Express Bridge Loans.
• Advising: The SBA Resource Partner Network for business resiliency readiness advising and training.
• Tax Relief: IRS information about tax relief for businesses.
• Washington State Resources.
Parks & Trails
Parks and trails in our area are owned by City, County, State and Federal governments. While most are closed under the Stay Home Orders issued by State and Federal government, the plans for re-opening will come from each jurisdiction. Below are links to each for interest in understanding the status of the park or trail.
U.S. Forest Service
Washington State Parks
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Snohomish County Parks
Island County Parks
Multilingual Resources Available through Snohomish
The Snohomish Health District has increased access for multilingual residents. Novel Coronavirus 2019 information is now available for the following languages:
For more information please see the links at the top of the Snohomish Health District’s webpage.
Further Cuts to Community Transit Service Announced
Community Transit announced it will make additional cuts to service as a result of significantly reduced ridership during the pandemic. Some routes may be cancelled indefinitely. Details of the changes are to be posted at https://www.communitytransit.org/reducedservice by Friday, April 10. These additional cuts are set to take effect on Monday, April 13. News release here.
Sno-Isle Libraries Takes Programming Online
Since Sno-Isle Libraries customers can’t get to programs for the time being, Sno-Isle Libraries will bring programs to customers in digital form. New digital programming is scheduled to begin on Friday, April 10, initially with virtual book club groups, Ready Readers storytimes and pub trivia. Read the full blog here.
Call 211 to Reach Washington State Coronavirus Call Center
The state Department of Health is partnering with Washington 211 to answer your questions about coronavirus from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time seven days a week, and better provide the information you need, the way you want it. Washington 211 replaces
the department’s novel coronavirus call center. Callers should continue to dial 1-800-525-0127 and press # to be transferred to a Washington 211 call taker. You can also text the word “Coronavirus” to 211-211 for help.
New Marketplace Exchange Matches Recently Furloughed or Laid Off Employees with Critical Open Jobs
Eightfold.ai, the inventor of the Talent Intelligence Platform, together with FMI – The Food Industry Association, launched the Eightfold Talent Exchange, a nationwide marketplace connecting HR and business leaders to immediately employ associates whose jobs are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Employers: Current employers can invite employees to participate in the program. Employers will be able to add lists of impacted employees and send them a link to register for the Exchange.
For Employees: Impacted employees can create or update profiles and answer questions about their job preferences, information that is readily available for hiring companies to see.
For more information please visit Eightold.ai’s Talent Exchange.
AARP Warns of Coronavirus Scams
AARP has again warned its membership of a significant increase in scam reports made to Federal Trade Commission. As of April 7, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had received 13,372 consumer complaints related to the outbreak, including more than 7,500 about coronavirus fraud. Victims reported losing nearly $9.6 million.
Types of scams being reported include questionable cures and treatments, financial scams promising quick returns, and phishing schemes designed to get your personal data.
What You Should Do:
- Be educated! There is no known cure for COVID-19 at this time and there is no vaccine available.
- Be skeptical. If a claim for an untested or little-known product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Carefully check the email addresses for messages supposedly coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. Best practice is to visit their actual websites by typing cdc.gov or who.int into your web browser to get reliable, up-to-date information.
- Do NOT open attachments or click on links in unsolicited emails or texts about medical products or global health crises.
- Make sure you are up to date with your security software, browser and operating system, and run antivirus software regularly.
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or to the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
Tenant and Homeowner Resources Available
Stable housing is critical to staying home and staying healthy. If you’re facing an eviction notice or foreclosure on your home, there may be resources available to help.
On March 18, Governor Inslee issued a moratorium to stop all residential rent-based evictions through April 24, 2020. If you, a friend, or family member have been served an eviction notice, you should reach out to the following groups:
- COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium Complaint form: The Washington State Attorney General’s Office create an onlineform for complaints about evictions in violation of the Governor’s moratorium on certain residential evictions during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Solid Ground is a non-profit dedicated to ensuring housing stability for tenants and homeowners. Solid Ground is available to answer questions via their Tenant Services Message Line at 206-694-6767. Leave a message and someone will return your call.
- Landlord/tenant disputes are inherently a legal issue. The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) can help connect you with legal resources to protect your rights. They provide legal assistance to qualifying individuals on non-criminal matters. You can reach NJP through the CLEAR hotline at 1-888-201-1014 weekdays between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
- Tenants Union of Washington State is a non-profit dedicated to protecting the rights of Washingtonian renters. The Tenants Union gives neighborly advice on how to deal with your landlord, approach disputes and your options when facing eviction. They are not legal experts and cannot provide direct counsel. You can reach their hotline at 206-723-0500.
You can still face an eviction for illegal activity or for creating a nuisance.
If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and are no longer able to make your mortgage payments, there are some resources available to help:
COVID-19 Relief from Auto Insurers and Lenders
Many auto insurers and lenders are offering relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please contact your insurance company and lender directly to discuss options if you need assistance. Below are some of the relief programs currently being:
- Allstate: 15% off April and May premiums
- Ally Loan Payments: loan payments can be deferred for up to 120 days
- American Family Insurance: returning $50 to its customers, per vehicle
- Amica Mutual Insurance: penalty-free grace period through Tuesday, June 2, 2020
- Auto-Owners Insurance: plans to announce a special COVID- 19 premium refund program in the near future to assist personal auto customers
- Bank of America Loan Payments: offering payment deferrals
- BECU: offering payment relief, loans, and other resources
- Citi: offering payment deferrals for credit cards and personal loans for 2 statement cycles
- Chase Loan Payments: offering auto loan and lease, credit card, and mortgage payment assistance
- Farmers Insurance: will not cancel due to non-payment through May 1, 2020; due dates for policies up for renewal can be extended until at least May 1
- Geico: offering a credit in the same amount for customers who renew their policies before Oct.7, or on any newly purchased policies
- Key Bank: offering payment deferrals, temporary assistance loans for existing customers, and has suspended repossessions of vehicles, residential property foreclosures, and evictions
- Liberty Mutual/Safeco: 15% discount on auto premiums for the next two months
- Progressive: will not cancel or non-renew any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020
- USAA: auto insurance holders will get a 20% credit on two months of premiums
- Washington Federal Mortgage Lender: monthly mortgage payments can be deferred for three months
- Wells Fargo Loan Payments: suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary automobile repossessions. Also, on a case-by-case basis, Wells Fargo is offering fee waivers and payment deferrals
Parent & Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has provided information for parents and caregivers about COVID-19 in English and Spanish. This resource will help parents and caregivers think about how this infectious disease outbreak may affect their family— both physically and emotionally—and what they can do to help their family cope. Knowing important information about the outbreak and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress and help calm anxieties.
For more information please visit NCTSN’s webpage.
COVID-19 Impact on Passport Renewals
While people can still apply in person for a U.S. passport at some acceptance facilities and renew through the mail, significant delays receiving passports and citizenship evidence documents should be expected. Please consider waiting to apply until normal passport operations resume. Expedited services have been suspended. In- person service at passport agencies or centers will only be available for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.
For more information please visit the U.S. Department of State’s webpage.
April 1, 2020-
Gov. Jay Inslee was joined by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste and the police chiefs of Bellevue and Spokane to announce a three-step process for enforcement of the Stay at Home order for non-essential businesses. He stressed that enforcement will be a locally driven decision. Step 1 will focus on education and encouraging voluntary compliance. Step 2, if compliance is not achieved with Step 1, will focus on citations or suspensions or revocation of business licenses. Step 3, if compliance is not achieved with Step 1 and 2, will result in the business being referred to the State Attorney General’s office for possible charges. Anyone in the state will be able to visit coronavirus.wa.gov to report suspected business violations of the order. In Snohomish County, reports can also be made to the Snohomish Health District Environmental Health Division at 425-339-5250.
Yesterday the Governor was joined by Kris Johnson, President & CEO of the Association of Washington Business, and Dan Nordstrom, CEO of Outdoor Research, in asking manufacturers throughout the state to make safety and testing equipment needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
♦SURGICAL MASKS ♦SWAB TESTS ♦SALINE SOLUTION ♦VIALS ♦N95 MASKS ♦GLOVES ♦SURGICAL GOWNS ♦FACE SHIELDS
Companies interested in helping in this effort can review the How You Can Help tab on the state’s coronavirus website then contact City Administrator Jennifer Ferguson for assistance getting connected with the state. Email: email@example.com | Phone: 360-454-5209.
Additionally, here are a few updates announced in recent days:
- On Tuesday evening Governor Inslee issued additional guidance on his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. In this update the Governor provided clarity related to the automotive industry, renewable energy, recreation, retail, and a variety of other areas. You can find the March 31 guidance bulletin here.
- The Governor also signed a proclamation Tuesday that waives the post-retirement statutory work limitations for PERS, LEOFF, and PSERS to allow experienced employees to return to work for essential jobs, including in medical, public health, law enforcement and other critical positions.
- Lastly, on Tuesday Governor Inslee and the state’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced that the state is taking steps to assist Washington homeowners who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to COVID-19 restrictions. DFI’s guidance to companies servicing mortgages in Washington urges them to work with homeowners adversely impacted by COVID-19, including payment forbearance for those who need it. DFI’s website has a list of financial resources for Washingtonians impacted by COVID-19.
Do Not Call 9-1-1 with Questions About the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order
Please don’t call 9-1-1 with questions or concerns about the state’s recent stay-at-home order stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. 9-1-1 should only be used in the case of an emergency to ensure that those who need immediate, life-saving help can get the attention they need without delay. If anyone has questions about the order, direct them to https://coronavirus.wa.gov/.
Federal Social Distancing Guidelines Extended To April 30
Over the weekend, Federal Social Distancing Guidelines were extended to April 30. More information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/coronavirus-guidelines-america/
Snohomish County Isolation and Quarantine Facility Opens This Week
Snohomish County is preparing a COVID-19 isolation and quarantine site to open this week at the Angel of the Winds Arena in downtown Everett. This facility will provide a site for temporary isolation and quarantine for those who may not be able to recover in their own home or who are among the county’s unsheltered population. People who have COVID-19 would remain in isolation there until they are no longer contagious (e.g., 1-2 weeks), and those who were exposed but not ill would be quarantined until having passed through the 14-day incubation period. The primary mission of the facility is to reduce transmission to the public. For more information please read the press release.
New Snohomish Health District Blog Post
The Snohomish Health District shared a new blog post on supporting essential workers. For more information, please read the blog post.
Personal Protective Equipment Donations Needed in Snohomish County
Help first responders and healthcare workers in Snohomish County save lives! Donations of new, unopened personal protective equipment (PPE) are now being accepted at Haller Park in Arlington and Willis Tucker Park in Snohomish, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., today and 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Friday. Accepted items include: N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical gowns, medical gloves, medical safety glasses, medical face shields, Tyvek suits, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Items NOT accepted include: non-PPE donations, used PPE, food, drink, perishable items or money (accepted online only: https://www.cf-sc.org). Handmade PPE donations will be accepted at the Haller Park location only.
Snohomish County Sheriff Reminds of U.S. Forest Area Closures
Due to COVID-19, Mt. Baker-U.S. Forest areas are currently CLOSED. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue deputies continue to see people parking and trying to access trailheads at many locations. If you take a car, the park is too far. Please help our community slow the spread of COVID19. Stay Home, Stay Safe and Save Lives!
SnoCo Gift Card Challenge
Join the Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC)in supporting local small businesses in the SnoCo Gift Card Challenge on Friday, April 10. EASC challenges each of you to purchase at least one gift card from a local small business in our community! This is an easy way to support our business community. Plus, you can pay-it-forward and donate your purchased gift cards to local healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers in our community to show your appreciation
Please invite other community members to this challenge.
If you are a local business and offer gift cards, please tag your business.
If you tag @EconAllianceSC and the business you are supporting,you will be entered for a chance to win a gift card.
There’s a vital need for blood donors right now. Visit Bloodworks Northwest or American Red Cross to schedule your donation.
Economic Impact Payments Update
The IRS is expecting to begin distributing stimulus deposits and checks in the next three weeks. If you filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you will not have to do anything.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
CITY PARKS, FACILITIES, MEETINGS
Park restrooms, playground areas and other public areas where there is typically a gathering are closed as per the Governor Order to Stay at Home
City Council, Board & Commission Meetings
Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, issued March 24th, suspends certain statutory requirements in the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Public Records Act (PRA) for 30 days. The public will not be permitted to attend the physical location of the City Council and Commission Meetings, attendance will be through a “Virtual” Meeting Room. Instructions will be posted prior to the scheduled meetings.
City Hall Customer Services closed to Public walk-ins.
Utility billing payments.
Customers should make all payments either by US Mail, online, by phone, or the drop box in front of City Hall, rather than in person. To learn how to make payments on line visit this page: https://wa-stanwood.civicplus.com/169/Bill-Statement-Management.
- To make a payment by phone, please call 360-629-2181, and select option 0 for the finance department.
- Customers having difficulty making payments should contact the finance department immediately.
Level of service changes for Building Permit Plan Review and Inspections:
- City Hall is not open to the public for walk-in customer services at the permit and inspections counter. Building Permit applications may be submitted electronically via email to AMy Rusko at Amy.Rusko@stanwoodwa.org. Please include a PDF of the plans with the application. Please contact Amy for questions about Larger Plan packets that are not able to be emailed.
- You may pay for your permit fees over the phone by calling 360-629-2181; press 0 and our finance department staff will be able to assist you.
- Plan review and revisions will be handled via email and phone conferencing.
- Occupied Structures. The City will be performing limited inspections within occupied structures. If the work to be inspected is located within an occupied structure we will perform a virtual inspection via SKYPE, Video Conference Call or other methods agreeable to the Building Official.
- Please continue to call or email your inspection requests into the City and we will contact you on the best way to complete and finalize your permit. Our inspection phone number is 360-454-5217; our inspection email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New Construction. For new buildings under construction, our Inspectors will be practicing social distancing, as per the Health Department, for their safety as well as that of our customers. While performing site inspections, Inspectors will control their social distance on job sites and will require that contractors step back away from the area being inspected.
Stanwood Police Department
Main lobby closed to Public. For Emergencies call 911.
Fingerprinting and Concealed Pistol License processing at Stanwood Police Department is not available. New Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applications, CPL renewals and fingerprinting services are available through the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Information related to online processing can be found on the Snohomish County Sheriff’s website.
North County Regional Fire Authority
Stanwood Station 99 and all NCRFA Fire Stations - The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way firefighters interact in the community. Even in non-emergency situations fire personnel will be adhering to social distancing rules. In responding to medical calls, one firefighter will come to your door dressed in protective gear to ask you a few questions before entering. They may also ask you to wear a mask. Also, we would like to remind everyone that fire stations are closed to visitors at this time. These changes are for your safety and the safety of our first responders.
Be Honest with 9-1-1 about Coronavirus Symptoms
If you have a need to call 9-1-1 for emergency services and you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, please notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives. This will ensure police and fire/EMS personnel can be adequately prepared when they arrive at your home. Omitting this information can put the lives of our first responders at risk.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
- LOCAL RESOURCES
- STANWOOD BUSINESS UPDATES
- SPECIAL SHOPPING HOURS FOR SENIORS AND OTHERS AT HIGH RISK
- TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION
- MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES
- FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS
- STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY ORDER
- WASHINGTON NATIONAL GUARD
- PROVIDENCE 100 MILLION MASKS CHALLENGE
- TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY
Essential Links and Phone Numbers For Up-To-Date Information
World Health Organization - https://www.who.int/
Center for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/
Snohomish Health District - https://www.snohd.org/484/Novel-Coronavirus-2019
Snohomish County - https://snohomishcountywa.gov/5589/COVID-19-Response
Snohomish County COVID-19 Response & Community Resource Hub - https://snohomish-county-coronavirus-response-snoco-gis.hub.arcgis.com/
Washington State - https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
Snohomish County COVID-19 Phone Line: 425-388-3944
Washington State COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-525-0127, then press #.
Rumor Control: Fact or Fake Resource
The Snohomish County Joint Information Center (JIC) has put together a Fact or Fake resource to address rumors in the community. Please email the JIC at email@example.com with rumor concerns. FEMA has also launched a Coronavirus Rumor Control page.