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  • New Construction Guidance from Governor Inslee

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    Yesterday, Governor Inslee provided clarifying guidance for what counts as "essential" construction.

    “In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.

    "However, an exception to the order allows for construction in the following limited circumstances:

    a) Construction related to essential activities as described in the order;

    b) To further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing; or

    c) To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential businesses and residential structures."

    See the full guidance at

  • 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.

  • Travel Only for Essential Needs

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    With the new "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, we must all stay home and not travel, unless it's for an "essential need." What does that mean for Sammamish residents?

    o Do your part. Sammamish residents must stay at home, except for emergency travel or essential needs. This also means not having friends or family over for dinner parties or get-togethers.

    o Essential needs may include travel to grocery stores and food banks, pharmacies, gas stations, urgent or emergency medical care, caring for an elderly or sick family member, and travel to work for essential staff as defined by state or local authorities.

    o Law enforcement’s primary role is education and engagement with the community. The Sammamish Police Department and the King County Sheriff's Office will work to educate the public about how to best comply with stay-at-home orders and keep themselves safe. Sammamish residents, with a few exceptions, understand the severity of the situation are doing all they can already to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy. No law enforcement agencies have any desire to make any arrests or take anybody to jail for violations. That said, please do not call 911 to report social distancing violations. Instead, call the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.

    o Freight travel with supplies for grocery stores will continue -- Please don't overstock. When people buy more than they need, the people who need supplies most – such as health workers and seniors – are forced to go without. Grocery shelves will remain stocked if everyone sticks to their normal buying habits. Please try to limit your trips to the store to once per week to limit your exposure to others.

    o Discretionary travel is limited to managing urgent needs such as helping an elderly neighbor purchase groceries or providing care or support to a sick family member, for example.

    o Maintain social distancing at all times when in public. Staying six feet apart from one another is absolutely crucial to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

  • No Vehicular Access to Sammamish City Parks Beginning March 25

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    Starting tomorrow, March 25, 2020, the City of Sammamish will take additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the Governor's recent orders and to ensure that social distancing measures (six feet of space between people) can be adhered to.

    1. All parks and preserves will remain open to pedestrian 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. 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 CrossPath Counseling.
    4. Restrooms and sani-cans will remain open.
    5. The Dog Park (at Beaver Lake Park) and ball fields/sports courts at all parks will be locked.
    6. Playgrounds will remain closed.

    These measures are being taken to prevent any of our City parks from becoming "destinations" for large groups of people. While outdoor exercise is considered an essential activity under the Governor's most recent order, we urge people to stay in their homes as much as possible. If you do go outside, we recommend that residents walk in their neighborhoods and explore their closest parks, so that no one park becomes overcrowded.

    Thank you, and stay healthy!

  • What's an "Essential Business?"

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    With the order from Governor Inslee on March 23, all except for "essential businesses" must close starting March 25, for a period of at least two weeks. But what businesses are defined as essential? In Sammamish, this means our grocery stores will stay open; restaurants can continue offering delivery, drive-through, and take-out; police and fire departments will be fully staffed, utility workers will continue to provide services to residents, and City Hall will remain operational (with some modifications).

    Visit this resource from the Washington State COVID-19 page to learn more about what sort of business operations are and are not allowed at this time.