Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19 (September 1, 2020)

Andrew Stevens, CEM - Emergency Manager -Eastside Fire & Rescue

Good evening Mayor, Council members, and City Manager.

Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to provide an update on the ongoing COVID-19 response.

A recent situational report released by the State of Washington is showing an overall plateau and potentially slight decline in statewide COVID-19 cases, with the R factor, or the measure used to highlight how fast the virus is spreading, remaining around 1. This statewide plateau is a mixture of counties that are holding stable, such as King County, counties that are seeing increased cases, and a few, such as Yakima, which is now decreasing.

While the statewide plateau in COVID-19 cases can be seen as a positive, it, unfortunately, means that 10-15 Washingtonians are still dying each day from the virus. If those numbers continue through the remainder of the year, then Washington will experience approximately 1,250-1,875 additional COVID-19 deaths by the end of 2020. With the over 1,900 deaths that have already occurred, this would likely make COVID-19 a top five cause of death in Washington this year.

Sammamish has unfortunately seen additional COVID-19 fatalities since my last report. In mid-August, two more Sammamish residents died as a result of the COVID-19. These were the first COVID related deaths the City has seen since early May. This, including the uptick in positive cases we experienced over the past month, is a somber reminder that the COVID pandemic is still very much ongoing.

Lastly, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. I urge all Sammamish residents to visit the City’s website where they can find a host of emergency preparedness guides and resources. Just as States along the Gulf Coast are now being threatened by hurricanes while at the same time combating COVID, Sammamish is threatened by numerous hazards that could occur without notice and with devastating consequences. All residents should have a plan for what they will do in a disaster, supplies to see them through the recovery, and know how to stay informed before, during, and after an emergency. While not many could have predicted the prior and ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19, I feel that there is plenty that everyone can do to ensure that we as a community strengthen our disaster resiliency.

Thank you.

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