Published March 12 2020
Community urged to follow Public Health recommendations
The City of Bellevue continues to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The number of confirmed cases of the virus surpassed 200 in King county this week. On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee prohibited large events and asked public and private K-12 schools to close for six weeks starting next week in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
“Right now it is more important than ever to support our workers, families and friends, businesses and community organizations as we navigate the COVID-19 outbreak together,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “We understand these measures can be painful. The goal is to shorten the disruption as much as possible with strong actions. We appreciate the community’s help in supporting and following the current guidelines, and we will continue to explore ways to lessen the impacts however we can.”
The latest information on assistance programs and resources for small businesses can be found on the city’s website. It will be updated regularly as more resources and information become available. City staff encourage businesses to document any impacts due to the COVID-19 outbreak for potential future relief.
Gov. Inslee enacted an executive order on March 11 formally prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people until further notice. The ban covers social, spiritual and recreational activities in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. In addition, the Bellevue School District notified parents and released a statement that they will be closed starting March 13. The governor today ordered all K-12 schools in King County close through April 24, which partially coincides with spring break for most districts.
Mayor Robinson signed a proclamation of emergency for Bellevue on Tuesday, March 3, in an effort to allow the city to act quickly to secure resources to fight the spread of the virus and its impacts.
This week the city also suspended programs, events and drop-in activities at all community centers and Parks & Community Services facilities through March. City-sponsored community events above 250 attendees have also been postponed. These temporary measures will not impact employees’ jobs. City closures are being updated here.
The city is offering flexibility to workers who are able to work remotely and has enacted frequent, focused cleaning protocols to protect workers who must report to a city facility to provide important city services.
Bellevue fire and police personnel continue to respond to calls as usual, but are now including some specific protocols to protect emergency responders from potential COVID-19 exposure. The emergency call center now asks questions about flu-like symptoms, and responders may show up in protective gear if there is a concern about exposure to the virus during their response.
The number of COVID-19 cases in King County reached 270 as of March 12, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County. The agency listed the number of deaths at 27.