On Monday, March 16, the city of Issaquah released a video updating the community on the COVID-19 situation. In the video, Mayor Mary Lou Pauly and City Council president Victoria Hunt discussed the city’s response to the pandemic and the current status of Issaquah.
“I really want folks to stay calm and stay informed, especially locally with [the city of Issaquah],” Pauly said in the video. “We have a lot of good information out there. We’re going to provide the most current information we can for families and businesses to keep everybody up to date.”
Many recommendations have been put forth by the CDC to help combat the spread of the virus including social distancing.
New prohibitions also have been put into action. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited and gatherings of fewer than 50 people must be able to demonstrate that social distancing is being practiced, as well as other requirements.
“Unless we collectively follow social distancing recommendations, it’s estimated that cases of this virus may double every five to seven days. Even if you are not personally in a high-risk group it is very important that everyone practice social distancing because doing so you could be saving someone you don’t even know,” Hunt said in the video.
Many indoor venues have been ordered to cease operations until March 31, bars and restaurants included. Although, restaurants and other food services may remain open for pick up orders.
The hit to small business means many people are going to be relying on the community to keep their businesses alive during these uncertain times.
In the video, Hunt said buying gift cards to local businesses would be helpful. She also said many of the local nonprofits could benefit from donations as well.
For more information on helping local nonprofits go online to www.issaquahwa.gov/3196/Help-Others.
Due to the initial scare of the outbreak, the city is aware excess buying of medical supplies may have occurred.
“We really want to encourage the public not to buy more medical supplies than they need,” Pauly said in the video. “I would like those who have supplies to consider making a donation to our emergency workers.”
Eastside Fire and Rescue has volunteered to collect donations of surplus medical supplies from the community. Donations of nytril gloves, N-95 masks, hand sanitizer or cleaning products will be accepted.
“Eastside Fire and Rescue will be able to put these supplies into the hands of people who need them most, so if people have over-bought this would be a very generous and caring way to give back to your community,” Pauly said in the video.
Eastside Fire and Rescue headquarters are located at 175 Newport Way NW, Issaquah, 98027.
The healthcare system is overwhelmed and Pauly expressed the need to save emergency room space for those who need it. Also, if 911 is called for something other than COVID-19 the caller must inform the dispatcher if the person in need is experiencing any symptoms in order for first responders to use personal protective equipment.
“We are hearing of a shortage of blood in the regions,” Pauly said. “Community members are strongly encouraged to donate at any of our blood banks.”
The city of Issaquah has responded to the pandemic by shifting focus to the most important operations and services according to Pauly. Police and emergency responders, community communication, water, sewer-stormwater and roadway safety and supporting and coordinating with local social services are among the top priorities for the city.
More information and updates can be found online at www.issaquahwa.gov.