City closes libraries, most community centers, parks buildings, and recreation programs

This afternoon Mayor Durkan announced the city’s latest move to combat the spread of COVID-19: effective at 6pm tomorrow, all Seattle Library locations will be closed. In addition, Seattle Parks and Recreation will “cancel all programming, rentals, and permitted events, and close all community centers, pools, environmental learning centers, and other recreation facilities,” with the exception of preschool programs and hygiene services.

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City Council and staff to telecommute, cancel committee meetings for remainder of March

Late this afternoon, Council President Lorena Gonzalez and Council President Pro Tem Teresa Mosqueda issued a directive to the city’s Legislative Department outlining several measures the department will take to address the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.  Topping the list: all department employees are instructed to telecommute through the end of the month, and all committee meetings will be cancelled for the remainder of March.

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Council briefed on COVID-19, modifies Mayoral emergency declaration

This afternoon, the City Council received a long briefing from King County Public Health and several city department heads on the status of the COVID-19 response in Seattle. It then went into an extended executive session with its attorneys, followed by a public session in which it modified the Mayor’s declaration of emergency and issued a resolution with requests and expectations for the Mayor in how she exercised her emergency powers.

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What we know now about the coronavirus, and the response

A lot has happened in the six weeks since I first posted on the Wuhan coronavirus, now called COVID-19. In mid-January there were a handful of cases, not a lot of data, and almost no cases outside of one province in China.  All three of those situations have changed somewhat, and with several confirmed cases and (as of this writing) six deaths in Washington state, it’s worth pausing for a moment and taking a hard look at what we know now.

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