I hope you and your loved ones are doing well during this difficult time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As this situation continues to evolve, so does the response from government at all levels. I’ve received several pieces of information in recent days, so I want to share them and help you remain well-informed. The weeks ahead will be an especially challenging time for our district. Our local, state, and federal governments are working together on health care and economic efforts.
Inslee declares “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order
In a televised address Monday evening, Governor Inslee announced that he signed a statewide proclamation for a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order in our state, similar to what has been done in New York and California. This order will require every Washingtonian to stay at home unless they are pursuing an essential activity, like shopping for groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment, or going to work at an essential business. The order, which took effect immediately, bans all gatherings of people for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes. This applies to both private and public gatherings, including weddings and funerals. The declaration will close all businesses except those considered essential. The governor noted that many businesses can continue to operate using telework. All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains, and other businesses necessary for continued operations will remain open. During his address, the governor said it is still permissible to be outside using social distancing.
To watch TVW’s coverage of the governor’s address, click here.
There are 2,221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state and 110 deaths as of March 23 (Dept. of Health/Seattle Times).
President Trump’s ‘major disaster’ declaration
Over the weekend, President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Washington state. Click here for details. It does not release additional unemployment-insurance benefits such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
Google creates COVID-19 resource website
In addition, Google has created a website that is continually updated in cooperation with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other authorities. The main webpage has a box in the lower-right corner where you can choose a state and you are redirected to resources and information in that state. This allows people to easily find out what is happening in other states in case they have relatives there. You can visit Google’s new website here.
The trend of confirmed cases continues to increase (Dept. of Health/Seattle Times).
Helpful COVID-19 websites and phone numbers
There are many helpful and informative websites with useful and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 virus and government resources to help those in need of assistance.
The Department of Health recently created a COVID-19 daily bulletin. To sign up for the daily bulletin, go here.
Here are helpful phone numbers to reach various state agencies if you need assistance related to the COVID-19 outbreak:
Department of Health: 1-800-525-0127
Department of Revenue: 360-705-6705 (tax extensions and waiver requests)
Department of Labor and Industries: 360-902-5800
Washington state status of testing and deaths by age (Dept. of Health/Seattle Times).
Federal government considering COVID-19 economic relief and stimulus legislation
Please contact my office if you need additional COVID-19 information or if my staff can help connect you with assistance efforts. As you may know, the federal government is considering a significant COVID-19 stimulus measure. The contact information for our area’s federal representatives, should you have questions, is included below:
Last week, I did an interview on KPQ’s The Agenda show in which I discussed the recently completed legislative session and the COVID-19 situation in our state. You can listen to that interview here.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state senator. This is a difficult time for 12th District businesses, schools, and families. Let’s each do what we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Please contact my office if you need additional information.
107 Newhouse Building – P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412 (360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000
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For more news, click here to visit my legislative webpage. It’s my privilege to serve the people of Washington’s 12th Legislative District, comprising all of Douglas and Chelan counties and part of Okanogan and Grant counties.
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