Sammamish Emergency Manager's 5/19 Report to Council on COVID-19

This report was presented verbally at the City Council Regular Meeting on May 19, 2020.

Report to Sammamish City Council on COVID-19

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

Good evening Mayor, Council members, and City Manager. Thank you again for inviting me to discuss the City of Sammamish’s COVID-19 response and recovery operations.

As of today, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus globally was nearly 4.9 million. The U.S. has reported roughly 1.5 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in over 91,000 fatalities. The number of cases in the U.S. is now roughly than the same as the next seven highest countries combined.

Washington State is reporting 18,811 positive cases of COVID-19 and over 1,000 deaths. King County is reporting 7,582 cases. The City of Sammamish is shown to have 76 positive cases of coronavirus, and now five fatalities. This is an increase of roughly 17% in new confirmed cases and a 66% increase in fatalities in the past two weeks. I believe that these numbers should strike home the fact that COVID-19 is still a considerable threat as we are still tragically seeing lives lost within our community.

Yesterday, King County enacted a directive requiring all residents to wear a face covering in most public settings. This includes any indoor or outdoor space where you may possibly come within six feet of others, including grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, or any other retail facilities. Face covering helps to prevent the inadvertent spread of COVID-19 and, therefore, I urge all residents to comply with this directive. Similarly, private businesses may further require that all customers entering their facility be required to wear a face covering. Also note that although the wearing of a face covering or mask is an extremely important step in slowing disease transmission, it is not a substitute for other COVID-19 mitigations such as social distancing or washing your hands.

Internally, the City continues to assess and monitor COVID-19 threat mitigation strategies as they relate to Washington’s phased Safe Start plan and adjust accordingly. This includes assessing the use of public facilities and our own internal policies and procedures. We have established an internal steering committee comprised of numerous department stakeholders whose focus will be to assess the various funding sources available to support the COVID-19 response and recovery, and to provide those recommendations to City leadership. Understanding that the recovery of large-scale incidents, such as COVID-19, can create numerous challenges for any organization, the City is holding a virtual Disaster Cost Recovery workshop paid for through a grant obtained by the City’s Office of Emergency Management. And, to assist in the overall regional recovery process, we have invited our neighboring jurisdictions and external stakeholders, such as our public utilities and school districts, to participate in this valuable training at no expense.

Lastly, although some parts of Washington are moving into Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start plan, it does not appear that King County will meet those required health metrics soon. So, I would like to remind all who may be struggling or in need of assistance that there are numerous resources available which may be able to assist you or your family through these difficult times. King County Pubic Health recently shared on interactive map highlighting where emergency food may be accessed, 211 is a valuable resource for connecting with human service organizations across the region, and our own Connect Sammamish COVID-19 portal provides links to numerous other resources. Many of these programs were established with the understanding that the steps necessary to combat this virus places an extraordinary hardship on many, so please do not hesitate to use them if needed.

That is all I have to report on this evening. Thank you and stay safe.

Categories: emergency management
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