By Jeff Wagner, Mayor of Covington
Many of us have friends, family and colleagues that are personally impacted by what has been unfolding over the past few weeks. While we would all be grateful to have stability and return to normalcy, we are still facing growing uncertainties due to COVID-19. How will it affect us in the short term? What about the long term?
On March 12, the city declared a State of Emergency to allow us to better manage and coordinate emergency efforts if needed and to continue functioning with essential city services. In light of this and the mandatory school closures that were put into place, the Covington Aquatic Center closed, city park playgrounds and facilities (like bathrooms, shelters, etc.) also closed, and city hall closed to public walk-ins, although is still operating and can be reached by phone or online.
Subsequently on March 23, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a Stay-Home, Stay Healthy Order for the entire state for at least two weeks. This means that all residents, except those that are essential employees, must stay home except to engage in essential services like grocery shopping, picking up to-go food orders, attending doctor’s appointments and exercising outdoors with social distancing required. A complete list of the do’s and don’ts can be found at www.coronavirus.wa.gov.
It will take a community effort to keep Covington and you safe. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility and engage in measures of prevention to help beat COVID-19. It is imperative to stay informed with accurate information, practice social distancing, wash hands and use hand sanitizer, stay home if a non-essential worker or engaging in an essential service, and stay home altogether if you are sick. And, please please only shop for what you need and don’t hoard!
If you can help your community, there are several ways to do so. Covington’s Food Bank, the Storehouse, is in need of monetary and food donations. For more details, visit their website at www.CovingtonStorehouse.org/donate. Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) is the sole provider of blood products to MultiCare hospitals, including Covington’s, and is in need of donors for April to keep adequate blood supplies. To sign up, visit their website at www.crbs.net/donate-2020.
Another way to help your community is to patronize Covington restaurants that are still open for to-go orders or delivery. While many of our retail stores are closed, many of our restaurants and grocers are still open and willing to serve our residents. We appreciate their hard work and commitment to serving the community during this crisis. I also want to send a sincere thank you to our health care workers and first responders for their dedication and sacrifice for our safety.
I highly recommend residents visit and bookmark the city’s COVID-19 webpage at www.covingtonwa.gov/alert_detail.php to keep up-to-date on what is Covington specific. Also, following us on Facebook (@CityofCovington) or on Twitter (@CovingtonWash) is the best way to receive important updates and information. Other websites for accurate information include King County Public Health at www.kingcounty.gov/covid and the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Stay positive. Stay compassionate. Stay home!