As of March 23rd at 5pm, Governor Inslee signed a statewide Stay At Home order. This proclamation Stay Home, Stay Healthy applies statewide and in King County. The order will last for two weeks and could be extended. Here are the key things for WA residents to know:
- Require every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.
- Ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.
- Close all businesses except essential businesses.
Links for more information:
“Seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you, pray to Yahweh on its behalf, since in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
-Jeremiah 29:7These words of the prophet Jeremiah are part of a letter to his people, exiled, deported, giving guidance for their well-being, their wholeness, their profound peace, their shalom (the Hebrew word of such depth, here translated as “welfare”).Such advice went against the grain, when the temptation was to fight one’s way out of exile. For the well-fed and well-off, the powerful, such advice was likely not well received.Today, we wrestle as a community with the implications of COVID-19, caring for loved ones and congregations, with ourselves and people we serve at times confused, fearful, out of sorts. We urge adherence to the directives to practice physical distancing and to stay at home. We too are experiencing a form of exile.The people of Israel are exhorted to plant gardens and eat what they produce. The promise of future flourishing is found in the seeds sown now, beginning where we call home. Let us encourage one another to engage in practices that promote the health of all in our midst.Let us extend our prayers beyond our circles of the people we know to all our relations, the first-responders and health-care providers, the grocery store workers, the sanitation workers, people experiencing homelessness, people who are seriously ill, people experiencing aloneness and alienation.Let us courageously and creatively practice a liberating love that mindfully attends to and concretely addresses situations where assistance and support are needed.Richard Rohr suggests that “communities and commitments can form around suffering” more so than in our comfort zone or feelings of superiority. In reaching out to one another (virtually) and listening to our neighbors in need, we may participate in God’s inclusive shalom for these times, where health and healing are possible, beyond our understanding.Please see below for additional resources for supporting others and promoting justice in our area.In faith & solidarity,Michael RamosExecutive Director
We invite you to explore the online resources linked below, many of which are brand new.
Visit www.kingcounty.gov/covid for updates or follow King County Public Health on social media (@KCPubHealth).
COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations available in PDF format here.
Matching Needs & Resources
- *NEW* King County Regional Donations Connector: For ways organizations and individuals can help and get help
- United Way of King County lists opportunities to volunteer or provide in-kind resources related to COVID-19 response at https://bit.ly/2wotBgJ and has a page where organizations can post their volunteer or in-kind donation requests https://volunteer.uwkc.org/volunteer-response-covid-19/
- *NEW* King County Office of Equity and Social Justice Funding Opportunity- Hate and Bias Response Fund www.kingcounty.gov/equity
- King County Office of Equity and Social Justice COVID-19 Community Response Fund: www.kingcounty.gov/equity
- City of Seattle Bias Hurts site – Report Discriminatory Harassment http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/civil-rights/outreach-and-engagement/bias-hurts
- City of Bellevue Report a Crime Online https://bellevuewa.gov/city-government/departments/police/report-and-prevent-crime/report-a-crime-online (click on “Bias Related Event”)
- Anti-stigma resources (it’s real – fight it!)
Notifying Public Health with concerns about a case, cluster, or outbreak in a healthcare or social service setting
- *NEW* at the www.kingcounty.gov/covid page, there is now an online form for facilities “to report concerns about a case, cluster, or outbreak in a healthcare of social service setting, including acute care facilities, urgent care, long-term care facilities, senior living communities, outpatient clinics, supportive or transitional housing, homeless shelters, dialysis centers, childcare programs, and correctional facilities. The Public Health – Seattle & King County COVID-19 Investigation Team will review all submitted forms and follow-up as needed.”
Emergency actions in King County adult and juvenile detention
- King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention is taking emergency action to ensure the health and safety of people in custody, visitors, and staff at all correctional facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Details and an FAQ here: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/jails.aspx
- Also, this March 20 news release describes adjustments occurring at King County jails: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/news/2020/March/20-covid.aspx
Relief for communities–such as undocumented persons–who cannot or may be unlikely to access government programs
- Matias Valenzuela is the process of organizing subgroups to look at issues related to COVID-19 response for undocumented individuals and the LGBTQ community. Please connect with Matias if you’d like to learn more about this: firstname.lastname@example.org