Key Coronavirus followups from our community partner, Challenge Seattle:
- SHELTER IN PLACE RUMOR – We heard clearly from the city of Seattle, King County, and Department of Commerce that there are no plans at this time to issue additional orders relating to more restrictions or to shelter in place. Please help calm the public about this concern.
- MASKS – Thank you to Costco and Microsoft for sourcing a combined 140,000 masks for use by our health care workers and responders. If anyone has a surplus of N-95 masks or other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) or has the ability to help source PPEs – please let us know. There is a critical need.
- DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE UPDATE –
- Secretary Lisa Brown shared the Governor’s announcement regarding measures that the state is taking today to address the economic impacts of the crisis, including assistance for renters, workers, and businesses. Read more here.
- In response to the business community’s request to simplify navigating the state’s COVID response, the state has created a one-stop-shop portal– coronavirus.wa.gov. Specific information for businesses and workers is here.
- UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE – an urgent ask of the business community is to communicate to our Federal Delegation the need for federal action to provide states more flexibility on the provision of unemployment insurance benefits. This flexibility would allow our state to expand eligibility as well as the amount available to unemployed workers. The Seattle Metro Chamber is organizing a sign-on letter. We will circulate the letter via our business association partners as soon as it is available.
- SCHOOLS – We heard from Superintendent Reykdal that the state is working to address key barriers for certain student populations so that districts can begin offering on-line learning next week. He also mentioned two specific needs that they are struggling with:
- Food Security. While districts have set up systems for delivering breakfast and lunches, concerns are growing about dinner and weekend meals for students and their families who quality for free and reduced-priced meals.
- Childcare: Districts are struggling with how to meet the Governor’s directive to provide childcare for first responders, health care workers, and others who are essential to the state’s response to COVID-19. If you have ideas on either of these fronts, please let us know.
- PHILANTROPY – Thank you for the outpouring of generosity in the last several weeks. To aid donors who want to ensure that dollars flow quickly to where they are most needed, we have assembled a consolidated #WeGotThisWA list posted here on the Seattle Metro Chamber’s site.
**PLEASE NOTE, the situation on the ground is fluid and needs will evolve, especially as federal funding becomes available. Our goal is to update this list regularly so that we continue to identify the gaps between the need and available government resources, ensuring private dollars can flow effectively and efficiently to fill the gaps. Additionally, we recognize that the current list is Seattle-King County centric and does not cover all of the needs in the community. We are working with partners to understand the most effective channels to get help where it is needed across the state.