Sammamish Emergency Manager's 4/7 Report to City Council on COVID-19

This report was provided live to our City Council at their regular meeting on April 7, 2020.

Report to Sammamish City Council on COVID-19

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

Good evening, Mayor and Council members. Two weeks ago, the global number of confirmed Coronavirus cases was just over 400,000. Today, that number has risen by over one million. At just under 390,000, the United States leads the world in positive cases, a number nearly three times larger than the next highest county. As of today, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in King County is 3,462, however recent studies have shown that Stay Home, Stay Healthy order has begun to slow the spread of the virus in the State. Looking at the metrics across King County, it appears Sammamish residents have been doing their part in fighting this outbreak. Out of 39 cities in King County, only 3 have fewer number of cases per 100,000 residents. While this number may not be entirely accurate, it is still a notable accomplishment. [Resource: King County COVID-19 Data Dashboard.]

However, this outbreak is far from over. While we should all be encouraged by some of the statistics coming out of WA State and King County, this fight will continue for many more months and we may very well see multiple spikes in cases. This is not a virus than can be contained locally, as evident by the global numbers, but must be fought with a concentrated, unified effort. While Washington has been limiting gatherings for over a month and issued a Stay at Home order more than two weeks ago, there are still nine states with no such mitigation measures in place. I urge all Sammamish residents not to be lulled into a false sense of complacency, as everyone needs to remain vigilant in this effort.

Understanding the massive economic, psychological, and emotional toll this response is having on our community, the city has been progressively leaning forward to assess and identify ways in which we may be able to support the various non-profit, human-services, and faith-based organizations, which are all essential to the long-term recovery of our community. The City has distributed a survey to all these community stakeholders to gather information on their current capabilities, their needs, and their ability to scale up services to greater number of residents if needed. Furthermore, the City’s Human Services Coordinator is in constant contact with these organizations, is providing weekly situational reports to the EOC, and participating in semi-weekly meetings with colleagues from other Eastside Cities. The City is also continually updating the Connect Sammamish COVID-19 resource hub with new information on programs established in the County, which may support residents in need of assistance.

On the economic front, the city is continuing to promote and share small business resources, such as the low-interest loans available through the Small Business Administration, resources from the WA Employment Security Department, and unemployment resources for individuals. We are also looking at ways which we can support local businesses, such as collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce to aid small businesses throughout the city.

City government is continuing to function with only a slight reduction in organizational capability. Due to the early implementation of robust COVID-19 mitigations and social distancing policies, and ingenuity of City staff, we can proudly say that the City has been able to ensure the continuity of all mission essential functions without a single instance of workplace contraction of COVID-19.

Lastly, in times of stress, and what may seem like an unending cycle of bad news, it is important to share stories of hope and resiliency. Sammamish residents have continually stepped up in support of one another throughout this crisis. Whether working on the front lines in a hospital, sewing or 3D printing masks and respirators, or picking up groceries for a vulnerable neighbor, the community is standing together. Therefore, I am asking residents to share these stories of community resiliency on our Connect.Sammamish COVID-19 web page. We do not want the hardships we are facing to define this moment, but instead, how our community has come together to support each other when it was most needed.

Thank you.

Categories: emergency management, city council, economic resources
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