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  • Sammamish Emergency Manager's July 21 Report to City Council on COVID-19

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    This is the complete text of the report that was delivered live to City Council at their Regular Meeting the evening of Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

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

    Good evening Mayor, Council members, and City Manager.

    Thank you again for allowing me with the opportunity to provide a brief situational update on COVID-19

    In the past two weeks, the global coronavirus case count has risen by roughly 3 million, with the United States’ total positive count increasing to nearly 4 million cases. Two weeks ago, I reported that the majority of states across the nation were again experiencing rapid increases in case counts, hospitalizations, and fatalities. That unfortunately still holds true today, even in Washington.

    A recent statewide situation report published by the Washington State Department of Health outlined a grim reality, highlighting the alarming trends statewide in both COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalization data. Currently, most areas of the state are at extreme risk of negating all the gains made during the past several months of lockdown. Daily case counts are surpassing any of the State’s previous peaks from back in March. The greatest increases in positive cases are tied to the younger population, especially among the 20-29 year-old age group, highlighting the fact that these increases are more tied to social and workplace exposures than any other factor.

    Sammamish is also seeing an increase in cases. We are currently sitting at 152 positive cases, with an increase of 9 new cases from yesterday. That is the single highest daily new case total for the City since the outbreak began. There have been multiple other days in July with new daily case counts of 4 or 5. To put that in context, the daily counts for Sammamish were averaging around 1 or 2, with numerous days showing no new cases through most of April, May, and June. By most metrics, everything is looking worse. The Washington Department of Health stated that we are in the early stages of an exponential statewide outbreak that would have zero chances of being reversed without widespread changes in behavior and policy. One could assume that we will begin to see rollbacks in the State’s phased reopening plan soon.

    In previous City Council meetings, I have been asked questions during my report which, if I could not provide an answer to then, responded to Council via email following the meeting. I would like to address some of those question now for the public. Two weeks ago, Councilmember Stuart asked a question concerning the enforcement of statewide orders related to COVID-19, such as the mandatory wearing of face coverings. Yes, the orders are enforceable by law under RCW 43.06.220(5). However, as stated by the governor himself, he would prefer that compliance with these orders be done through persuasion and not prosecution. The Council could mandate that Sammamish PD strongly pursue and cite those not complying with these orders, but we would most likely be the only jurisdiction in the state doing so. To complicate the issue, exemptions in the governor's order for reasons why individuals may not be required to wear a mask or comply with any other section of the order, would make it nearly impossible for an officer to prove otherwise in the field.

    A question regarding Sammamish PD’s and Eastside Fire & Rescue's use of PPE was also asked. Both PD, EFR, and City staff are required to comply with the statewide face covering mandate and have all developed the internal polices and directives requiring all employees to do so.

    Lastly, due to the success of this month’s earlier mask distribution event, Sammamish has requested an additional 16,000 masks from King County and a plan to again provide the free cloth face coverings to the public will be announced soon.

    Thank you.

  • Sammamish Emergency Manager's July 7 Report to Council on COVID-19

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    This is the full text of the report read to City Council at their July 7, 2020 meeting:

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

    Good evening once again Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager.

    Thank you again for allowing me with the opportunity to provide a brief situational update on COVID-19.

    The global count of coronavirus cases falls just short of 12 million confirmed positive cases, with the U.S. accounting for one quarter of that number. To make matters worse, over the past few weeks, the majority of U.S. states have seen sharp increases in positive cases of COVID-19, with many states, including Washington, breaking records for daily new case totals.

    We are seeing in real time the repercussions of disregarding the threat posed by this virus. States are now rolling back reopening plans and implementing new mandates and public health orders in the hope to urge compliance with COVID-19 mitigations. Yet, cases and hospitalizations continue to increase. Across the nation, hospitals and ICUs are once again strained or filled beyond capacity, and yet the simplest of tools proven to greatly slow the spread of COVID-19, a face mask, has been turned into a political argument rather than a widely embraced, invaluable resource in the fight against this pandemic.

    Nearly every day, something new is discovered by scientists and medical professionals relating to this illness. How COVID-19 can create long-term morbidity issues, how it spreads far easier than what was previously thought, or how it may result in acute medical issues for months after first becoming infected. Yet so many individuals are entirely dismissive, or worse, blatantly throwing caution to the wind. I read an article the other day about a medically vulnerable child who died from COVID-19 after her parents took her to a party with roughly 100 people. There was no social distancing or masks being worn at this event. What is so troubling is that the terrible outcome was 100% preventable. Most individuals, let alone parents, would be shocked by what happened, yet nearly every day I am witness to similar instances of unnecessary opportunities for exposure. It may be a parent lifting the caution tape on closed a playground so their kids can play with others, individuals disregarding barricades on closed docks where it is impossible to socially distance from others, or folks inviting all their friends over for a dinner party. But I said this before, we are not going to be able to enforce or regulate our way out of this crisis. It starts with personal accountability and ends when we are all working together to find common solutions. It means putting everyone’s welfare above our own personal inconveniences or wants.

    Having said that though, Sammamish continues to be a leader in fighting COVID-19. Since this outbreak began, our residents have overwhelmingly shown their support of, and compliance with, all non-pharmaceutical interventions. We continue to have one of the lowest per capita rates of confirmed cases and fatalities in the state. I also see widespread compliance with the State’s face covering mandate. In fact, last Wednesday, the City organized a free cloth mask distribution event. In just five hours, over 10,500 masks were provided to over 1,350 households. This event would have been impossible without the efforts of the Sammamish ACERT volunteers, our Parks and recreation staff and volunteers, and Sammamish PD officers and explorers. Behind the scenes, the event was also greatly assisted by the City’s amazing Comms team and Public Works personnel.

    The unbelievable turnout for this event highlights the resiliency of this community. Other jurisdictions across the county have held similar events with only a fraction of the attendees that Sammamish saw. So, a heartfelt thank you to all the residents who showed up and who will wear those masks while in public.

    With that, I will open it up to any questions you may have.

  • Sammamish Emergency Manager's 6/16 Report to City Council on COVID-19

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

    Good evening Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager.

    Thank you again for providing me with the opportunity to discuss the current state of emergency management here in Sammamish.

    Across the globe, Coronavirus numbers continue to rise. Since my last report two weeks ago, the world has seen an increase in roughly 1.75 million cases and 60,000 more fatalities. Please allow me to put that into context. The world has been dealing with COVID-19 since January. It took until mid-April to hit 1.75 million cases globally. We hit that number in the past two weeks.

    That is a nearly 1/5 increase in total cases in the past two weeks alone.

    In the past two weeks, the U.S. has seen an additional 320,000 cases and 10,000 deaths, and as states continue to lift stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 mitigations, surges in new infections are again on the rise.

    Locally, King County has requested to move into Phase 2 of the Washington Safe Start plan, loosening restrictions on non-essential businesses, retail establishments, and limited social gatherings. If these restrictions are lifted and individuals choose to participate in these various activities in unsafe manners, ignoring public health recommendations on facial coverings or social distancing, then we too can expect an increase in infected individuals in our City.

    I want to make it extremely clear to everyone listening. Nothing has changed as far as COVID is concerned. There is no vaccine, and there is no effective treatment. The risks posed are still very much a reality, with the only advantage we have now is better knowledge of how the disease spreads and a far greater availability of protective mitigations like PPE. You cannot gaslight your way out of a pandemic, pretending as if the threat no longer exists. Understanding that people need to return to work and businesses need to reopen their doors or risk closing them forever, it is then all our responsibility to ensure that they can do so safely. If you can physically wear a face covering when in public, then you need to. If you can socialize or conduct meetings remotely, then continue to do that. Knowing that the threat is still here, we all need to do everything to minimize our own risk and the risk to others. I think it is important to recognize that while some businesses are resuming operations, those employees are there to earn a living and not to place themselves at unnecessary risk from those they serve.

    The past several weeks have brought additional challenges to communities across the nation, as protests against systematic racism, inequality, and instances of police brutality are organizing in nearly every community. While the vast majority of these incidents have been conducted peacefully, some have resulted in civil unrest or violence. On June 4th a peaceful protest of roughly 500 individuals took place in Sammamish, beginning here at the Sammamish Commons, then transitioning to a march northward looping back down through 228th. I would like to express my personal appreciation to Sammamish PD for the time and effort they spent preparing for the event and all the work done to ensure that those attending the peaceful protest were able to so in a safe environment. In addition to the fantastic work of our police department, nearly every city department and numerous external stakeholders assisted in the preparation and coordinated management of the event.

    While this year has certainly been challenging, it has highlighted many successes. I’m proud of the way Sammamish has approached each of these incidents. Since 2017, Sammamish has implemented an all-hazard emergency management program focusing on strengthening inter-agency coordination, equity in assistance, and whole-community disaster resiliency. This has provided us with the confidence and ability to respond effectively to any range of disaster or emergency. From severe weather and floods, to pandemics and civil unrest, the City of Sammamish and its residents continue to lead the way in preparing for, mitigating against, responding to, and recovering from whatever seems come our way, and we're only halfway through the year.

    Thank you.

  • Emergency Manager's 6/2/20 Report to Council on COVID-19

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    In case you missed it at last week's City Council Regular Meeting, below is the full text of the Sammamish Emergency Manager's Report to City Council on COVID-19. This full recorded meeting can also be viewed at on our YouTube page.

    Report to Sammamish City Council on Covid-19

    June 2, 2020

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

    Good evening Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager.

    Across the world, Coronavrius numbers continue to increase. Globally, there are roughly 6.4 million positive cases and nearly 380,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The U.S continues to be the global leader in both confirmed cases at over 1.8 million, and fatalities, with over 106,000 deaths. This is a tragic milestone and the speed in which this number was reached, in just 3 short months, is a stark reminder as to the severity of this crisis.

    Washington State is reporting 22,157 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1,128 deaths. King County is reporting 8,235 cases. The City of Sammamish is shown to have 78 positive cases of coronavirus, and five fatalities. [Editor's note: The newly updated King County COVID-19 Data Dashboard now shows revised, slightly reduced case numbers for Sammamish.]

    Last week, the Governor announced his updated plan for safely resuming some recreational, social, and business activities. While some activities have already resumed under this approach, and counties across the state move into higher phases of reopening, it is important to note that although the threat of COVID-19 may seem to be declining, steps to prevent exposure still need to be made by all members of our community. This includes complying with all non-pharmaceutical interventions, maintaining social distancing, and wearing face coverings while in public. Sammamish residents have done an amazing job of reducing our whole community’s risk to this virus, through purposeful, preventative measures and support of one another. Now is not the time to let your guard down.

    Turning on the news it may be easy to forget that the U.S. is still very actively engaged in fighting a pandemic, and that the virus is still very much present throughout our communities. Crises can occur simultaneously, often compounding the effects of both. During these times, viral outbreaks are especially opportunistic. The traditional methods of non-violent civil resistance, such as the congregation of people gathering to peacefully protest an injustice or to hold a vigil, all provide opportunities for a resurgence of this disease.

    As you are aware, the City Manager has drafted a Proclamation of Emergency in response to the numerous incidents of civil unrest we are witnessing across the region, which is being presented for your ratification this evening. Please know, that we have been actively monitoring and assessing these incidents and coordinating with multiple agencies to reduce our community’s risk and vulnerability and to take measurable steps to ensure public safety and property protection.

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

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    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.

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

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    Report to Sammamish City Council on COVID-19

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

    Good evening Mayor, Councilmembers, and City Manager. Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to provide an update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and City of Sammamish’s response and recovery operations.

    As of today, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus globally was over 3.6 million, an increase of over one million since my last briefing. The US has reported roughly 1.2 million cases of COVID-19, resulting in over 70,000 fatalities. The number of cases in the U.S. is greater than the number of the next four highest countries combined. To put that into further perspective, more than a month has passed since the U.S. has had a day where fewer than 1000 individuals died from coronavirus.

    Washington State is reporting 15,594 positive cases of COVID-19 and King County is reporting 6,621. The City of Sammamish is shown to have 65 positive cases of coronavirus and three fatalities. Sammamish still has one of the lowest per capita rates of infection in the county, and due to the robust mitigation measures the City enacted early in this event, we can proudly say that we have been able to maintain the continuity of nearly all government functions without a single instance of employee contraction of COVID-19.

    Across the nation, state, and even locally, people are growing restless with the measures required to combat this virus. So please allow me to remind everyone that this outbreak is far from over. While some states that have issued public health orders, such as Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, are seeing a slight decline in case volume, 25 states are still seeing daily increases in positive cases. The total case count across the nation is still expanding, growing each day by 2-4%. In many areas, where social distancing restrictions have been lifted entirely, we are seeing a resurgence of the virus. Rural counties who did not even have a single reported case until mid-April are now experiencing explosive community transmission and are now hot spots for several new cases.

    Last week, the Governor extended the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through the end of May. He also outlined a phased process for reopening aspects of the community, such as outdoor recreation and some businesses. The process outlined in the Governor’s Safe Start plan assesses our community’s resiliency against the virus through analyzing the readiness of our health care systems, testing availability, ability to conduct widespread contract tracing, and the level of risk to vulnerable populations. The Governor also stated that there would be a period of at least three weeks in between the phases of reopening to allow for time to assess their success.

    While we are beginning to see these measures already take effect, through the reopening of some outdoor recreation like state parks, fishing, and golf, I urge Sammamish residents to approach this transition slowly. Please do not look for the exceptions for what is allowed and rush out to meet them. This virus is still very much present in or community and county and these activities are not worth yours or anyone else’s health and safety. The City has always taken a proactive stance to ensure the protection of its residents and employees. For example, in last week’s public address, the Mayor outlined why some restrictions to City parks use and access would still be enforced, even as State Parks reopened.

    Understanding that the threat of COVID-19 will last for many more months and that the recovery will last much longer, we have been focusing on steps to facilitate that recovery process. We are in constant communication with State and County partners concerning funding to support costs associated with the COVID-19 response, as well as the long-term recovery of our community. Understanding the various funding streams that the City may access, what costs are eligible for reimbursement, and ensuring all those expenses are properly documented throughout the duration of this incident is one of our top priorities. Other measures being taken include the continued support of businesses within the City, through tools like the Puget Sound Small Business Map, and the efforts you all are taking this evening to support community organizations active in supporting those impacted by the outbreak.

    I want to thank everyone for their continued support and compliance with all public health recommendations. It truly is making a critical difference to so many.

    Thank you.

  • Sammamish Emergency Manager's 4/21 Report to Council on COVID-19

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    This report was provided live to Sammamish City Council on at their Regular Meeting on April 21, 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 a brief situational update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and response. As of earlier today, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus globally was over 2.5 million. At over 820,000 cases, the U.S. makes up roughly 1/3rd of that total. Cases in Washington are still on the increase with 12,282 cases statewide and 5,360 in King County alone. In Sammamish, there have been 59 positive cases and three fatalities, however Sammamish’s per capita case rate of 91.6 cases per 100,000 is the lowest in King County outside of Hunts Point, with a population 437, and Skykomish, with a population of 222.

    The low rate of transmission and contraction of the virus in Sammamish is a testament of our population's willingness to comply with all public health recommendation and non-pharmaceutical interventions, most importantly, social distancing. Our community has been able to demonstrate considerable resiliency throughout the past seven weeks, but it is not time to relax or become complacent in those efforts.

    Public health experts are recommending that the non-pharmaceutical orders currently in place remain in effect until either 1) a vaccine or preventative treatment is made widely available, or 2) the following conditions are met:

    • Healthcare professionals have all required and necessary PPE to safely treat patients
    • There is a sustained reduction of new COVID-19 cases for at least two weeks
    • Disease can be controlled through monitored isolation and quarantine
    • Widespread testing and the ability to obtain rapid results exists
    • Robust contact tracing is available
    • And jurisdictions have ability to protect their most vulnerable populations

    Understanding that these conditions may not be present or available for many months, all levels of government are working to develop mitigating strategies to reduce the medical, economic, social, and civil disruptions resulting from prolonged non-pharmaceutical interventions. An example of these mitigations would be the distribution of financial assistance, economic support to small businesses, support for the mental wellness of impacted individuals, and much more.

    The City of Sammamish has and continues to lean forward in support of the efforts to mitigate the impacts of not just the virus, but also the continual strain of these necessary interventions. The City is not only focusing our support locally, but also supporting and assisting in the coordination of vital services across the county.

    City staff are in constant contact with community-based organizations and non-profits who are working tirelessly to support those who are impacted, connecting them to resources and also identifying ways to connect them to funding and regional grant opportunities. The City is also partnering with communities across the county to develop a GIS restaurant map, which will highlight essential businesses that are still open and able to serve or deliver food to our populations. Recently, I was also requested to support King County’s COVID-19 response by leading a team focused on the continuity of staffing in regional food banks and distribution hubs.

    As new ways to assist those impacted by this pandemic continue to be developed and refined, the City is committed to supporting and sharing this information to our residents through the constant provision of communication on numerous platforms and in numerous languages. Our objective is to ensure that residents are well informed on how to protect themselves from this virus, but also aware of the numerous resources available to aid them through these difficult times.

    There may be frustrations with the continuation of these mitigation strategies and there may be those that claim that they are overreactions or an overstepping of government. To those individuals, may I remind them, that even with strict mitigation measures in place, roughly 45,000 Americans have already died from Coronavirus. Throughout the past two months, there were many days when the daily death totals from COVID-19 were far greater than the total losses this nation experienced during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The importance of continuing these mitigations until they can safely be rolled back cannot be understated. While difficult, this community can rally together to ensure that we all make it through this response. We can support one another, we can support our businesses when they eventually reopen, we can support the non-profits providing assistance and the food banks providing meals, and we can our part to protect the front-line workers putting their lives at risk everyday by simply staying home.

    Thank you.

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

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    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.

  • Emergency Manager's 3/24 Report to Council on COVID-19

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    Report to Sammamish City Council on COVID-19

    March 24, 2020

    by Andrew Stevens – Emergency Manager, Eastside Fire & Rescue

    On March 3rd, I provided the City Council with a preliminary report on the rapidly developing Coronavirus, or COVID-19, situation. At that time there were 27 positive cases throughout the State. As of today, the number of positive cases across the state is almost 2,500.

    For weeks now, the City of Sammamish has been widely promoting, and complying with, the recommendations of public health agencies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

    The City has implemented a robust tele-work program which has allowed for the continuation of nearly all organizational functions while allowing for roughly 85% of city staff to work remotely. Every City department has thoroughly revised a continuity of operations plan identifying mission essential functions, succession plans, and delegations of authority which ensures critical government services will continue throughout this pandemic.

    The City of Sammamish has also developed a COVID-19 information and resource hub for our residents. That hub is linked on the top of the City website or available directly by visiting

    The Connect Sammamish COVID-19 site is the City’s central point for sharing information and news relating to the pandemic, current public health recommendations, and a host of economic, utility, mental health, and emergency preparedness resources. Through Connect Sammamish, residents can also ask questions to staff and share stories of community resiliency.

    Yesterday, the Governor issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which requires everyone to stay at home except when:

    • Pursuing an essential activity, such as shopping for groceries or going to a medical appointment.
    • Getting takeout food. (Food deliveries also are permitted).
    • Going to work at an essential business, or
    • Going outside for walks and exercise, as long as a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing is maintained.

    Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other businesses identified as essential services will remain open.

    All gatherings of people for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes are prohibited. This includes playdates for children, dinner parties, going to church, even funerals. By tomorrow evening, all non-essential businesses must also close, however, those who can operate remotely should continue to do so.

    I would like to take a moment now to urge all Sammamish residents to comply with these orders, and all other public health recommendations, and to reiterate why their compliance is so critically important.

    According to the World Health Organization, the speed of which Coronavirus is spreading is accelerating. It took 67 days from the first reported case of COVID-19 to reach 100,000 cases, only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, four days for the third, and just 3 days for the number to now rise to over 400,000 cases globally. Unless drastic actions are taken to stop the spread of this virus, our medical systems will quickly be overwhelmed, a large percentage of the global population will get sick, and many will die.

    The exemptions provided under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order should not be taken advantage of, and you should not be looking for opportunities to leave your home.

    Just because grocery stores remain open does not mean that you should heading to the store daily. If a recipe calls for an ingredient and you don’t have it, make do with what you have. Similarly, don’t run to a hardware store because you would like to take advantage of home isolation and paint your bathroom. Limit your trips to only those that are essential.

    This is not only to protect yourself and your family from additional opportunities of exposure, but to protect the front-line workers who are keeping these essential services going. Parents, if your children are still gathering socially throughout the City and in neighborhoods, it is time to step up and enforce these regulations at home.

    The definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when no one else is watching. Governments will not be able to regulate away the risk posed by this virus.

    The importance of whole-community compliance cannot be understated, and that begins with every individual.

    I urge all residents to support one another through the entirety of this incident, to be a good example, and to not put others at risk.

    Thank you.