Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson announced Thursday he has signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in the City of Edmonds in response to increasing impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in Snohomish and King Counties. The mayor also announced the closure of some city facilities and the cancellation of some programs.
“I recognize that the declaration of emergency may seem alarming to some, but it has been made out of an abundance of caution and need for interagency coordination,” Nelson said.
The emergency declaration will allow for suspension of normal procedures related to procurement and work assignments, may facilitate potential receipt of state or federal funds, and will allow the city maximum flexibility to respond to this developing situation, the mayor’s office said in an announcement.
The city is also taking the following actions in response to the outbreak:
- All city-sponsored, nonessential large meetings or gatherings will be canceled until further notice.
- Effective Saturday, March 7, all City of Edmonds recreation programs and rentals are canceled for a minimum of two weeks. The following city facilities will be closed to the public: Frances Anderson Center, Meadowdale Clubhouse (and preschool), and the Edmonds Plaza Room.
- All city buildings are being deep cleaned by custodial staff on a regular basis.
- Entrances to city buildings and facilities now have hand sanitizer stations and all visitors and staff entering said buildings must use the sanitizer.
- Teleworking is being promoted among city staff who are able to do so for all or part of their regular work hours.
- Flexible application of sick leave policies is being allowed to account for individualized needs.
- The city will be activating its Emergency Operations Center to ensure effective communication and coordination with County, State and federal authorities.
As for the general community, in accordance with the Snohomish Health District, here are the latest recommendations:
- All members of the general public are encouraged to practice smart personal hygiene, including hand-washing and engaging in “social distancing” – meaning avoiding unnecessary contact or close proximity with others.
- People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:
o People 60 and older
o People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
o People who have weakened immune systems
o Pregnant women
- People who are sick with cough and fever should not go to work and should remain at home to the extent feasible.
- People should avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. Those who need to go should limit their time there and keep six feet away from patients.
- Businesses, institutions, agencies and other entities should consider implementing similar measures as listed above, as appropriate and feasible.
“Please follow the recommended precautions as you go about your daily lives at work, school and in the community,” Nelson said. “In addition, I encourage all members of the public to be respectful to others they encounter in the community who may be dealing with the outbreak in different ways. I am confident that the measures and precautions we’ve laid out will help contain the spread of this virus and allow us to return to normal in the near future”
Visit the Snohomish Health District website for more information and continuing updates at www.snohd.org/484/Novel-Coronavirus-2019.