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  • 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 City Parks Closure Updates for May 4, 2020

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    On March 25, the City of Sammamish took measures within City Parks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the Governor's orders and to ensure that social distancing measures (six feet of space between people) could be adhered to.

    Though many State-run parks in Washington will re-open tomorrow, May 5, City Parks will continue to have modified levels of public access. Because our Parks generally have a smaller capacity than State Parks:

    1. All Sammamish City parks and preserves will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle access.

    2. Gates to parking lots will NOT be opened for parks, so they will have no vehicular access. Parks affected include Beaver Lake Park, East Sammamish Park, Pine Lake Park, Ebright Creek Park, Sammamish Landing. Please note that there are parks that do not have gates to their parking lots (Klahanie Park, NE Sammamish Park, Big Rock Park), so these lots will remain open.

    3. The City of Sammamish is not currently allowing fishing or swimming from docks or beaches at Pine Lake Park, Beaver Lake Park, or Sammamish Landing.

    4. Gates to parking lots of preserves will remain open. This includes Evans Creek Preserve and Beaver Lake Preserve. Gates to the Lower Sammamish Commons park will remain open to allow access for the SE 4th Street contractor and for CrossPath Counseling.

    5. Restrooms and sani-cans will remain open.

    6. The Dog Park (at Beaver Lake Park) and ball fields/sports courts at all parks will remain locked.

    7. Playgrounds and the Skate Park at Sammamish Commons will remain closed.

    Please note: Beaver Lake Boat Launch is a State-run access to the lake and is expected to re-open tomorrow. This is separate from Beaver Lake Park, maintained by the City of Sammamish, which will continue to have a closed parking lot gate in order to prevent overcrowding on our docks and at our beaches. The City of Sammamish is not currently allowing fishing from docks or beaches at Pine Lake Park, Beaver Lake Park, or Sammamish Landing.

    These measures are being taken to prevent any of our City parks from becoming "destinations" for large groups of people. Because the Governor has requested that Washingtonians “recreate locally,” we encourage residents to walk in their neighborhoods and explore their closest parks, so that no one park becomes overcrowded.

  • A Message From Mayor of Sammamish, Karen Moran, May 1, 2020

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    Friends and neighbors, I’m back today to give you another update on how Sammamish is doing during this COVID-19 health crisis.

    First, the good news! You, Sammamish residents, have done an amazing job in reducing exposures within our community. I’m happy to report that Sammamish has one of the lowest per capita infection rates not only in King County, but all of Washington State.

    But there is also some sobering news. Our community has lost three individuals so far to this virus. Our hearts go out to these families and their friends.

    The governor announced today that the Stay at Home Order will be extended through May 31st. We must all continue to adhere to social distancing. This is the only way we can prevent spreading of the virus.

    The governor also announced that state parks are reopening. While the City of Sammamish has never fully restricted access to our City parks, I want to explain why we are making the decision to restrict certain amenities and parking access. City parks are smaller, and with the good weather coming, social distancing would be hard to maintain if the parking lots are open. By keeping our lots closed, residents can continue to recreate locally and safely in place. Our maintenance crews are still working to keep our parks beautiful, and we want to ensure it’s a safe environment for our staff.

    The governor has also lifted restrictions on certain construction projects, as long as social distancing and PPE protocols are adhered to. Please visit for more information.

    And while you are there, please check out the Puget Sound Small Business Map, where 16 cities, including Sammamish, have partnered to help residents locate and support small businesses and restaurants around us. It is a very useful interactive map. If your business in not on this map, please contact them to get it added.

    Lastly, I’d like to thank the city staff, many of whom are continuing to work safely from home while delivering on all the important services we need for this city to function. With careful and thoughtful management, we are confident that the City has and will still be able to maintain its level of service.

    On behalf of the entire City Council, I want to thank the first responders and healthcare workers for keeping us safe. And I want to thank YOU, residents of Sammamish, for doing your part in overcoming this virus. One positive thing that has come from this is community resiliency and unity. Yes, we are sticking together through this, by staying apart.

    Stay safe, and thank you.

    Karen Moran, Mayor

  • Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through May 31

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    At his press conference today, Governor Jay Inslee extended the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order through May 31. The following information has been provided by the Washington State Emergency Management Division. Governor Inslee is expected to post full details to his Medium page soon.

    "The Extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order will be through May 31, Gov. Inslee & Health officials announced today. There will be new allowances for retail curbside pickup; car washes; and landscaping and house cleaning services. Also, drive-in spiritual services can go forward with one household per vehicle.

    Moving forward, there will be four phases allowing more areas of the state to re-open after each phase based on a data-driven approach. Information on that here.

    These phases depend on continued success in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and meeting four capabilities including:
    ✔️health care system readiness
    ✔️testing capacity
    ✔️ability to do contact investigations
    ✔️ability to protect high-risk populations.

    Not every part of the state is experiencing #COVID19 the same way. County variances are allowed. Smaller counties could reopen. Counties with fewer than 50,000 residents not hit hard by #COVID19 will be able to apply to the Department of Health for a variance that will allow the county to open to the second phase. Cities and counties can also take more strict actions than what the state is mandating. That is up to them based on their public health needs and local decision making.

    While state parks and state land are re-opening May 5, before traveling, check with your destination. More information:

    Businesses are also expected to implement any additional requirements developed specifically for their industry such as those that have been established for construction.

    The state is entering into Phase 1, with some aspects starting on May 5. The governor has already allowed some construction to resume as well as reopening of some recreational activities including day use at state parks, playing golf, fishing and hunting. Officials are working with industries to develop new protocols that could soon also allow for retail curbside pickup; car washes; and landscaping and house cleaning services and drive-in spiritual services with one household per vehicle.

    When COVID-19 disease burden is low and decreasing and the four capabilities described above are met, the governor will move from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
    ▶️ Phase 2: Additional expansions of outdoor recreation activities would be allowed, as well as small gatherings of 5 or fewer people, new construction and in-store retail purchases with health restrictions. Barber shops and salons could reopen. Restaurants could reopen with 50 percent capacity and table size no larger than 5. Some professional services and offices could open up as well, even though teleworking would remain strongly encouraged. Pet care services including grooming could resume.
    ▶️ Phase 3: Gatherings of 50 people or less, including sports activities, would be allowed, and non-essential travel could resume. Restaurants could move up to 75 percent capacity and tables up to 10 people, and bars at 25 percent capacity; gyms and movie theaters could reopen at 50 percebt capacity; retail, libraries, museums and government buildings could reopen. Recreational facilities like pools could open at 50 percent capacity. Nightclubs and entertainment venues would still not be able to reopen.
    ▶️ Phase 4: Would involve resuming the majority of public interactions. Gatherings of more than 50 people would be allowed, but still while practicing social distancing."

  • New COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard from WA Governor's Office

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    Yesterday, which marked 100 days since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee announced a new risk assessment dashboard to aid the state in gauging when and how to best lift restrictions around ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy” in Washington.

    The governor mentioned that in the coming weeks, the state will slowly start “turning the dial” on several physical distancing restrictions in accordance with changing epidemiological and public health data. More news is expected at his public briefing tomorrow.

  • Summer Event Cancellations

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    At Tuesday evening’s City Council Special Meeting, an important determination was made regarding all City-sponsored events through the summer. In order to protect the community and mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, the City Council voted to cancel all City of Sammamish events through the end of August, as well as the 2020 Farmers Market. This was not a decision that was made lightly, and the City has the deepest regret that the community will not be able to come together to celebrate in-person during this challenging time. However, the safety of our residents is of the utmost importance. The unknown trajectory of the pandemic and the impossibility of maintaining safe social distancing at these popular events weighed heavily in the decision. We recognize the importance of our summer events in bringing the community together to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere at our Parks, and we look forward to a time when we can all celebrate Sammamish together!

    The following summer events have been canceled:

    Farmers Market – May 6, 2020 – September 16, 2020 (Wednesdays)

    Rig-A-Palooza – May 16, 2020

    Scooter Competition – June 24, 2020

    Fourth on the Plateau – July 4, 2020

    KidsFirst! Performances – July 7, 2020 – August 11, 2020 (Tuesdays)

    Concerts in the Park – July 9, 2020 – August 20, 2020 (Thursdays)

    Outdoor Movie on the Plaza – July 10, 2020 & August 14, 2020

    Shakespeare in the Park – July 18, 2020 & July 25, 2020

    Sammamish P.O.P. – Party on the Plateau – August 7, 2020 – August 8, 2020

    Any events approved through Special Use Permit – May 2020 – August 2020

    For more information on Parks programming, please contact Chris Jordan, Recreation Manager, at

  • New Quarantine and Isolation Order Issued 3/28

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    From Public Health - Seattle & King County:

    Quarantine and isolation

    Local Health Officer Directive and Order, effective as of March 28, 2020

    Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and have a test result pending may place other vulnerable members of the public at risk. To protect the health of our community and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Local Health Officer issued the following:

    Quarantine Directive

    Everyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) who has a test result pending, shall stay in an quarantine location (your home if you have one or in a government directed or publicly provided location if one is available) in accordance with CDC and Public Health guidance.

    If your test result is positive, you must then remain in isolation.

    Isolation Order

    All individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 shall enter and remain in isolation as follows:

    Do not leave your home or recovery facility, except to receive medical care.

    For individuals with symptoms, discontinue isolation only under the following conditions:

    • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND,
    • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

    For individuals who tested positive but have not had any symptoms, discontinue isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, and there has been no subsequent illness.


    All individuals are strongly urged to voluntarily comply with this directive and order without delay.

    Individuals who fail to comply may be subject to involuntary detention pursuant to public health authority under RCW 70.05.070 (2)-(3) and WAC 246-100-036 (3).

    For more information

    See the complete order for additional details, including conditions of quarantine and isolation.

  • An Important Message from Mayor Karen Moran

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    Hi friends and neighbors, I’m Karen Moran, Mayor of Sammamish.

    I’m here to update you on COVID-19 and how the City of Sammamish is responding to this health crisis.

    We can all help in eliminating this pandemic by heeding Governor Inslee’s “stay home and stay healthy” order. If you need to leave your homes for essential trips for groceries and prescriptions, please maintain social distancing of at least six feet apart.

    Unless you have been identified as an essential worker by the Governor, you must stay home. If you have children, please keep them safe by keeping them home.

    The City of Sammamish is working closely with King County and Washington’s Department of Health to adopt and enforce safety guidelines. One of them is the closing of parks and playgrounds. Of course we cannot close the great outdoors. If going out for a walk, again, please maintain a minimum of six feet apart.

    The City has developed an online COVID-19 resource and information center for residents and businesses. Economic, public health, and mental health resources as well as emergency preparedness information are included, along with up-to-the-minute updates from King County and the State.

    Please visit:

    I would like to thank police, fire, and all services and city staff for continuing to protect our City and keeping us safe. Almost 85% of city staff are working from home, but our service and maintenance workers are working daily to keep our City functioning.

    Let’s do what we can to support our local restaurants and small businesses. And, as a former nurse, and the mother of two health workers at Providence, I especially want to thank the healthcare workers.

    Tonight, and every night at 8pm, I will join a global movement by standing outside my doorway to applaud and thank all of our frontline workers. Please join me in expressing our gratitude. We are truly all in this together. Never before has it been more important for our wonderfully diverse community to come together and support one another.

    Sammamish, we must stick together by staying apart. Stay safe! Thank you!

  • "Stay at Home" FAQs from Sammamish Police Department

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    From the Desk of the Chief:

    This past Monday, Governor Jay lnslee issued Proclamation 20-25; an unprecedented "Stay at Home" directive in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. The proclamation can be viewed in its entirety here.
    Over the past week, members of the Sammamish Police Department have been asked numerous questions about law enforcement's role during this time in our society, and in our City.

    In an effort to keep you informed, we have complied frequently asked questions (FAQs), along with information to address each question.

    The national media has reported that some police agencies are not making arrests during the COVID-19 outbreak. ls this the case in Sammamish?
    No. Sammamish Police Officers are on duty 24 hours a day, on active patrol, and making arrests when it is deemed necessary to ensure the safety of our community and the protection of victims.

    In order to protect staff and the public, officers have been instructed to take lower priority, non in-­progress calls via the phone (phone reports) when appropriate. This is a common practice even during "normal" circumstances, but I have stressed that SPD staff utilize this practice as much as possible to ensure social distancing until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. Police officers will respond in to in-­progress, emergency calls, or criminal activity that an officer observes while on patrol. If your situation requires officers to be on-scene, they will be there!

    Our District court, in Issaquah, is operational, but closed to the public for obvious reasons. The only change in their service has been extended scheduling of cases, but they are still conducting in-custody arraignments.

    The jail services we use have implemented some new intake and booking restrictions in an attempt to minimize exposure of staff and the contamination of the jail population. These restrictions do not affect serious felonies, and crimes that require mandatory in-custody arrests by state law, at this time.

    Are we under Martial Law?
    No - and we (Sammamish and Washington State) are nowhere near such a situation. Martial Law is a significant and extreme government action, initiated at either the state or federal level, and done so under intense legal scrutiny. This measure is only reserved for the most extraordinary circumstances. Martial Law is only enacted in order to reestablish or maintain law and order because achieving such cannot be accomplished without utilizing military/Federal resources and severely curtailing civil liberties. The current "Stay at Home" Governor's proclamation IS NOT a Martial law action. Furthermore, we have no indication from either the state or federal government that any form of Martial Law will be implemented, or is even being considered.

    Is the Governor's "Stay at Home" proclamation legally enforceable?
    Yes. Pursuant to RCW 43.06.220 State of Emergency-Powers of Governor Pursuant to Proclamation, a violation of this proclamation is a Gross Misdemeanor, and could result in arrest.

    While Sammamish Police Officers can arrest for the willful, wanton and deliberate violation of the Governor's proclamation, enforcement through arrest is not our goal or first course of action. Our community has shown that they understand the severity of the situation and are doing all they can to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy.

    When Sammamish Police Officers encounter someone -or a group of people- not in compliance, we will focus on education of the proclamation and awareness on how to keep themselves, the community and especially our most vulnerable citizens safe.

    DO NOT confront individuals or groups that you think are not complying with the "Stay at Home" proclamation. Keep in mind there are exemptions to the proclamation, and you may not know the entire situation you are observing. Please use maturity and discretion when calling the police if you feel there is a violation of the "Stay at Home" proclamation. The Sammamish Police Department continues to prioritize and modify police services in order to safely address the COVID-19 threat.

    We are here to serve you, and you make the decision to call upon us whenever you feel it's appropriate but please, remember the traditional reasons for calling 9-1-1 remain the same: a need for police or fire services for a genuine emergency or serious crime. It is even more important to be mindful of the legitimate reasons to call 9-1-1, when available emergency services may become overtaxed due to the current extraordinary public health situation.

    As stated above, if you need us, we will be there. Your police officers do not have the option to "stay at home," and they are working hard to protect you during this time- you can protect them by STAYING AT HOME. Self-regulating and following the "Stay at Home" proclamation will allow the Sammamish Police Department to continue its core duties of providing emergency services, crime prevention and overall public safety within our community.

    What is the Sammamish Police Department's enforcement philosophy during this time?
    During this health crisis, and especially while we are all adhering to the "Stay at Home" proclamation in our community, the Sammamish Police Department's enforcement philosophy and service priorities are, but are not limited to:

    1)Preserve the peace, health and welfare of our community.
    2)Proactive suppression and deterrence of crime, and the support of public order, especially around closed businesses and areas most impacted by the current health crisis.
    3)Swift and efficient response to in-progress incidents and calls for service.
    4)To provide assistance and comfort to our community focused on supporting public health officials, safety education and guidance on non-medical safe practices against COVID-19.

    This is an unprecedented time for law enforcement in our state and nation. As the Chief, my priority is to ensure staff safety so we can provide emergency police services to Sammamish for an indefinite period of time, under all conditions. This means being prepared to provide Sammamish adequate police services
    even if we are forced to work at reduced staffing levels due to ill or quarantined officers. Because of these considerations, we have to do everything we can to minimize possible exposure of police employees, and prioritize the calls Sammamish Police Officers actually have to respond to in person, as opposed to handling remotely. Our partnership with the King County Sheriff's Office will help support us in maintaining these services.

    The media has reported that some public safety agencies do not have enough equipment to protect staff from COVID-19. What about the Police Department?
    Every Sammamish Police employee has been issued Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.) and associated training on pathogen precautions.

    The Sammamish Police Department trains annually on an "all hazards" approach to preparedness and public safety. While no one could have anticipated a global pandemic, taking a proactive approach to general readiness has helped us deal with the extraordinarily fluid conditions we now find ourselves in. While we cannot forecast the escalation of COVID-19, currently we have the resources to operate for an extended period of time. We are developing intermediate and long-term contingency plans for supply and stock replenishment if the situation worsens. Recently the Sammamish Chinese community provided cleaning supplies and masks to local fire departments, police and hospitals. Another community member donated a generous supply of hand sanitizer.

    I saw a Sammamish Police Officer wearing a mask and gloves, should I be concerned?
    No - in fact, you should feel more secure. As part of our pathogen precautions and training, officers have been instructed to use P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment) whenever they deem it necessary in order to keep them and the public safe. An officer WILL NOT be working if they are ill or have a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you see any of our staff wearing protective equipment it's only as a precaution, based upon the circumstances they are dealing with. We are not medical experts, so we cannot make a determination of someone's medical condition - but officers have been told, when in doubt, wear P.P.E. Police officers also commonly encounter other infectious diseases during the course of their normal duties, to include Tuberculosis, MRSA and Hepatitis.

    This means the protective equipment you observe our officers wearing may not be related to COVID-19. Either way, officers' P.P.E. is as much for your safety as it is for theirs - no need to worry.

    The above FAQs are a conglomeration of many of the legitimate questions we are being asked -all with three common themes: COVID-19, the "Stay at Home" proclamation, and DPD's role during this time. I hope the answers to these questions provide some clarification. Please note, we are not responding to questions or comments posted on social media.

    If you are reporting a crime or suspicious incident, please only use the following numbers:
    •Non-emergency dispatch: 206-296-3311
    •Emergency / In-progress crimes: 9-1-1
    •On line reporting:

    In closing, we understand this is a stressful and uncertain time. We are here, and proud to serve the Sammamish community. If you need us, call us - We will be there.

    Stay safe and healthy,

    Chief Daniel Pingrey

  • What should I do if I see someone violating the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order?

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    Concerned Sammamish residents have reached out to us regarding individuals or businesses potentially not complying with the Governor’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. While we do believe that the majority of Sammamish residents and businesses are complying with the order, we of course may encounter exceptions to the rule.

    The Governor’s office has made it clear that these orders are enforceable by law, but they also made it clear that they are not actively searching for or citing individuals or businesses for non-compliance. The Sammamish Police Department will not be pulling people over to see where they're going, issuing citations, or breaking up people standing less than six feet apart. However, these social distancing measures remain crucial in protecting Sammamish residents and in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    The City and law enforcement will continue the public outreach and education on the importance of compliance. However, residents may report violations by businesses to the State at Find the link to the form under the "What's Prohibited" section. Please note that this only applies to businesses. If you have a concern about individuals or groups, you may consider reporting it online to the King County Sheriff's Office at Please do not call 911 except in emergencies.

    Before reporting, we ask that you reference this list of essential business as defined by the Governor's order and remember that many of your neighbors have reasons to be out that keep the rest of us safe and healthy.

    If we receive additional guidance from the State or King County Sheriff's Department on actively enforcing these orders, we will be sure to update the public.