Mayor Nelson declares state of emergency in Edmonds due to COVID-19

Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson

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


15 Replies to “Mayor Nelson declares state of emergency in Edmonds due to COVID-19”

  1. The worst part of this is that this is likely to prick the real estate and stock market bubbles. Edmonds is one of the most over-hyped areas, all jobs here are services, too many hoping to retire (via home equity). If retail depresses, Amazon lays us off. I’m flying to Florida this week, heard flights are taking a hit. This is the last thing Boeing needs right now. People who can will move from here. I think people could race to sell their homes. Negative rates could make retiring much more difficult.


  2. There is a whole lot of hysteria out there but let’s look at the facts as we know them. While there is still some that is unknown about this virus, one thing is becoming very clear, and that is, who is most likely to suffer from it and die- those of poor health over 70 years old. The numbers who have contracted the virus are unknown. Most people who have contracted it do not report it and some don’t even know they have it. But if we look at the situation on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship, we have a good isolated case of determining some sense of the virus’s behavior. These facts are more credible than those coming out of China for sure. Of the 3,711 passengers, 705 tested positive. Of that, 6 died. All who died were over 70 years old. That is an 0.85 fatality rate.
    This is a serious matter but looking at the facts as they emerge, should calm things down and put things in perspective. Running to Costco and stocking up on toilet paper and water, is not rational. Washing your hands and covering your mouth if you sneeze is rational.
    Calm down, let’s look at the facts and follow the expert’s advice as we go along each day.


    1. I don’t think we have the facts “out of China”. Martial Law can be more dangerous than the virus.


    2. Hi Mark I agree everyone is over reacting to a situation that no one really has control over. I worked in the medical field for 30 plus years? They can sanitize a building etc close them down for 2 weeks? Once people go back in germs, from people will be back in the building? I feel people need to be able to go out & socialize etc. I don’t really understand how the can prevent germs from spreading? We all can’t live in a bubble? I pray they figure it all out? Everyone needs good hand washing & stay home when sick. Best of luck to all the community agancies, schools, etc. God bless & light love & health to everyone. Thanks Sue


      1. Finally some sense! I too work in health care, shutting down a whole economy is crazy. The elder and compromised should be quarantined not the majority. The fear that this virus has caused is unbelievable,.to say the least. Thanks for your post, it’s reassuring to know I am not alone in my thinking.


  3. With the possible exception of his stance on the Police Chief search, I’m liking Mike more all the time. I can even see his point somewhat on that from the standpoint of being fair to all applicants. On the subject at hand, good well thought out actions I think. Thanks, Mayor.


  4. Well said…. Save the masks for health care workers. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Most public places have hand sanitizer. Keep calm and carry on…


  5. Mayor, we think it is Time to allow the local shops to open and use the Now Routine Social Distancing as we see here in the shops that are open. Ace Hardware does a good job.

    As noted, so many of our shops and restaurants employ hundreds of folks that are in the Pay Check to Pay Check part of their life and must get back to work to survive.

    Your neighbors here understand and abide by the Rules for the Virus—-Let’s get on with Life in Edmonds!!


    1. I haven’t yet had the chance to have dinner in Ace Hardware. How did that go?
      Let me know, before you include me in your “we” ..


      1. Have you never been to the deli and food takeout in the Ace Hardware Store? It is pretty, pretty, pretty good! Great food, soup, cookies….Very nice and helpful employees, cooks, and clerks! Try it!


    2. I’m not at all convinced that people understand and abide by the “Rules for the Virus.” I was in downtown Edmonds both days this weekend, with mask on. I saw people standing in the middle of the sidewalk talking, maskless, oblivious that they were forcing others out into the street to keep 6′ away. I saw unmasked kids skateboarding in Hazel Miller Plaza as their parents stood outside their cars visiting, maskless and within 6′. I saw people sitting outside Red Twig, on the bench closest to the sidewalk when there was no one sitting in the seats farther from the sidewalk. I see the same thing at the grocery stores – many people in masks and watching distance, others acting like nothing is different from last year.
      Opening businesses does little if customers don’t feel safe to go to them. States that have reopened are showing that people are not comfortable or convinced to go back out yet. Opening businesses before restoring that comfort just costs the businesses money, and if they offer former employees their jobs back, cuts those employees off from being eligible for unemployment. OpenTable says Georgia, opened up a week ago, is still down 92% on restaurant traffic.


  6. Brian I agree with you. I’m probably on the high end of people that have been out during this shut down and have not noticed that much adherence. There was a lot less traffic from people staying at home, but of the people that did go out I can’t remember any place where I saw even 50% usage until this week.

    I don’t see it being a problem of getting customers back to businesses once we re-open. Just this last weekend everywhere I went (grocery stores, Costco, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Fred Meyer) was at least at levels that I would have seen in the past. And we have not actually opened things up yet.

    Not sure about restaurants in specific in Georgia but I saw one article that said businesses in general opened slow at around 10% but are already at 70% of where they were last year.


    1. After I posted I thought I should check that 92% number (Georgia restaurant traffic). It turns out OpenTable has a data center with an impressive, openly accessible website ( Georgia has -92% of normal for same day last year for 5/10, so that bears out. Oklahoma and Texas are the “most returned to normal,” at -82% and -83%, respectively.


      1. I don’t see anything on the site that specifically says the process of their counts…

        a restaurant that was open last year today, allowed to be open this year today but isn’t, does that count as -100 or is it excluded from the sample?

        a place that is choosing to only do take out, do they count at -100 versus where they were last year?

        April 30th it shows -100 for Global, is that saying that nobody in the whole world ate at a restaurant?


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