Public health data show that the rate of coronavirus cases is rising again throughout our region. This is a troubling trend, especially when we have just started reopening our economy. Keeping the spread of the virus under control is critical to reopening and recovery.
We are in severe economic pain throughout our region. There are clear links between the issues of public health, racial justice, and an inclusive, equitable economy. As the Seattle Times reported this weekend, coronavirus-related layoffs in our area have disproportionally affected Black workers, younger workers, workers with less education, and lower-paid workers.
We need to get people back to work, and to do so, we have to make our “new normal” one where community transmission is low. To get there, we all need to take the appropriate precautions to limit the spread of the virus.
A quick reminder of best practices:
- Distancing and staying home are our most powerful prevention measures.
- Wear face coverings whenever you go out.
- Whenever possible, keep six feet apart from others.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Limit gatherings with people from outside your household.
- If you do gather, gathering outdoors is safer than indoors.
- Get tested at the first sign of illness.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
Our state is under a mask/face covering mandate as of June 26. Only July 2, Governor Inslee announced that starting July 7, he is requiring that businesses turn away customers who are not wearing masks or face coverings. There are some limited exceptions:
- Those with certain disabilities or health conditions.
- Those who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Children under the age of 5, though it is encouraged to have children ages 3 to 5 wear a face covering if possible.
If you and your employees need masks or face coverings, we are here to help. The Seattle Metro Chamber, OneRedmond, and Seattle Southside Chamber, in partnership with King County, are distributing 1 million masks and face coverings at low or no cost to businesses in our county. We’re working with more than two dozen partner chambers of commerce to reach as many businesses as possible through free in-person, contact-less pickups as well as online delivery ($20 shipping charge applies).
We held our first pick-up day last week in SODO, where we gave out 650 Safe Supply Kits to businesses. You can see more about how the day went in this KOMO News segment. We are doing more pick-ups throughout the region, and you can sign up for pickup or delivery here.
Our region set a national example for dealing decisively and effectively with the virus back in March. Let’s keep up the good habits that we’ve developed over the past four months. Without a vaccine, they are the best ways we can keep community spread low, keep our economy open, and keep people from getting sick.