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  • Governor Inslee Announces Rollbacks to Some Activities to Slow COVID-19 Exposure

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    Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman today announced changes to “Safe Start,” Washington’s phased approach to reopening. The changes target activities that data have shown provide a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.

    It has been four months since the governor announced the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Since then, cases in Washington have risen from 2,000 to almost 50,000, and deaths have increased from 110 to nearly 1,500.

    To combat the rising numbers, the governor and secretary are changing guidance and regulations around restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, as well as weddings and funerals. The changes will also affect family entertainment centers, movie theaters and card rooms.

    “We do not take these steps lightly. We know every prohibition is a challenge for individuals and business owners,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “But we know that if we fail to act, we expose people and businesses to even greater risk down the line.”

    Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

  • New Park Rule Requires Residents to Follow Posted Signage at City Parks

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    On July 21st, the Sammamish City Council adopted an ordinance requiring all park users to follow posted signage at City parks. The new park rule includes any and all signs communicating COVID-19 restrictions established by the Governor’s phased reopening plan. As part of Phase 2 guidelines, outdoor recreation is restricted to five or fewer people outside a household and is part of the Governor’s data-driven approach to reopen Washington and encourage social distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. Despite the Governor’s physical distancing orders, the Sammamish City Council; the Sammamish Police Department; the Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Department; and the Sammamish community have observed park users gathering in large groups well beyond the Governor’s guidelines, which threatens the preservation of the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community. Violation of posted signage in a City park may now include a fine up to $500.

  • Governor announces new limit on social gatherings and a ban on live entertainment across the state

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    As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase across the state, Governor Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman announced a new limit on social gatherings and a ban on live entertainment across the state.

    “The steps are necessary to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The unfortunate truth is that we can’t let our guard down, even as we engage in more activities,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “As we inch closer to the fall, we are already on an unsustainable path in the spread of this virus. We have to change to save lives and to avoid turning the dial back further on the activities we enjoy.”

    Under the new Safe Start phase limits, the number of individuals allowed in social gatherings during Phase 3 will be reduced from 50 people to 10 people. Counties in Phase 2, which includes King County, may continue to have social gatherings of up to five people.

    Additionally, the governor and secretary announced a prohibition on all live entertainment, indoor or outdoor, statewide. This includes drive-in concerts, comedy clubs and music in restaurants.

    The orders go into effect Monday, July 20.

    Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

  • 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.

  • Governor Inslee Extends Face Covering Requirement for Businesses and Halts County Advancements

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    Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman today announced a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers. The governor is also ordering a statewide pause on advancing counties from their current phases under Safe Start.

    Read more.

  • Recreate Responsibly While Celebrating Independence Day

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    With the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, we invite the Sammamish community to celebrate with family and friends responsibly. Let’s do our part to keep COVID-19 from spreading by wearing facial coverings and continuing to maintain physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Parks and trails can quickly become crowded; have another plan if your destination is too congested to maintain good social distancing.

    The King County Council reminds us, "COVID-19 has been on the sharp rise in King County recently, and health experts are increasingly concerned we’re moving in the wrong direction. We all must be vigilant to help reduce the spread, as we look to celebrate Independence Day this weekend."

    Recreate Responsibly:

    • Limit gathering sizes; socialize with no more than 5 people outside your household.
    • Know before you go – familiarize yourself with what park and trail amenities are open.
    • Respect closures of park features to help prevent the spread of the virus.
    • Give others plenty of room whether you are in a park, on a trail, at a boat launch or in a parking lot.
    • Wear your facial covering.

    We are currently in Phase 2, and with everyone following ‘Recreate Responsibly’ guidelines, we can all safely enjoy the holiday!

  • Governor Inslee Issues Statewide Mask Requirement

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    This mandate, which applies to all public spaces, goes into effect Friday, June 26. Read the full story on the Governor's Medium page.

  • What's Open, What's Closed: Sammamish City Parks in Phase 2

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    • As you plan your visit, remember to practice social distancing, avoid congregating, use of PPE and frequent hand-washing is recommended, stay home if you are sick, and follow the most current CDC guidelines.
    • Most of Sammamish’s closed park amenities are out in the open and cannot be fully secured or locked. Please honor closure notices as part of the community’s collective response and individual responsibility to keep everyone safe.

    The City of Sammamish continues to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with the Governor's orders and to ensure that social distancing measures (maintaining six feet of space between people) will be adhered to. All Sammamish City parks and preserves continue to remain open to pedestrian and bicycle access with the following modifications:

    Park amenities for Phase 2 opening:

    • Athletic Fields (City-owned)
    • Courts
    • Dog Park (no water)
    • Beaches – Fishing only
      • Sammamish Landing Park
      • Beaver Lake Park

    The associated parking lots for these amenities are open, which include East Sammamish Park, Ebright Creek Park, and Beaver Lake Park.

    • Trails at all City Parks
    • Evans Creek Preserve
    • Beaver Lake Preserve
    • Lower Sammamish Commons
    • Sammamish Landing Park
    • Parking lots to parks without gates:
    • Klahanie Park
    • NE Sammamish Park
    • Big Rock Park
    • Restrooms/Sani-cans

    The following amenities will remain closed until Phase 3:

    • Pine Lake Park Gate and Beach
    • Docks at Sammamish Landing and Pine Lake Park
    • Playgrounds at all Parks
    • Sammamish Commons Skate Park

    Group size restrictions in effect: Gatherings of five or fewer people from outside the household are permitted.

    Organized athletic games, practices and pickup games are not permitted.

    Use of PPE and frequent hand-washing is recommended.

    As you plan your visit, remember to practice social distancing, avoid group gatherings, keep it moving to help prevent crowding, stay home if you are sick, and follow the most current CDC guidelines.

  • King County Enters Phase 2

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    Sammamish and King County entered into Phase 2 of Washington's Safe Start program today. For information on what changes, visit https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/safe-start.aspx .

  • Health Officials Stress Continued Vigilance as Limited Reopening Begins

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    As King County continues its first week of limited reopening of some businesses and recreational activities, Public Health – Seattle & King County reminds the public to continue following physical distancing and infection control practices to help prevent an increase in COVID-19 cases. Also, expanded data available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

    Read the full story from Public Health - Seattle King County' Public Health Insider blog.