(Updated) March 12, 2020 – Gov. Jay Inslee announced today, March 12 that all public and private K-12 schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties will close for the next six weeks. This decision impacts 43 school districts throughout the three counties. Public health officials hope the science-driven decision can help minimize COVID-19 exposure in Washington counties hit hardest by the virus. Schools will close from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 24. The timing will coincide with spring break for most Washington school districts. (Read more.)
The Governor’s Office has gathered a comprehensive list of resources where you can find more information on COVID 19 for business and workers. See COVID 19 Resource List for impacted Washington Businesses and Workers.
For the latest information, resources, and guidelines related to COVID-19, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington and would like to speak to the Health Department, call 1-800-525-0127. Phone lines are currently staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week. Please note that this call center can not access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.
At the Federal Level, Congressman Derek Kilmer sent the following, which might offer additional resources:
The Federal Government Steps Up to Help Our Communities
Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, and the bill was quickly signed into law by the President. The legislation provides $8.3 billion in funding to ensure the federal government steps up to the scale and seriousness of this growing public health emergency. It provides critical funding to ensure that vaccines, once developed, are affordable and available to all who need them, and that state and local governments are reimbursed for costs incurred while assisting the federal response to the COVID-19 threat. In a time marked by far too much partisanship, the bill received near-unanimous support.
This bill includes $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, including $950 million to support state and local health agencies. It also includes:
- Nearly $1 billion for medical supplies, health care preparedness, and medical surge capacity;
- More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics; and importantly, once those vaccines are developed, we’ve provided more than $300 million to ensure that access to vaccines is affordable;
- And, over $1 billion to secure Americans’ health by addressing the coronavirus overseas.
ArtsWA is also in close contact with our national partners and sister state agencies to share information and resources for our arts and cultural communities. Although there are many helpful websites on this subject, we believe these may be most helpful:
- ArtsReady and NCAPER (National Coalition for Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response) are regularly updating their sites with arts-specific resources and advice.
- ArtsReady has circulated practical examples of measures being implemented by cultural organizations, including this March 6 New York Times article and this February 26 ArtsReady Alert.
- COVID-19/Coronavirus Resources & Information for the Museum Field, from the American Alliance of Museums, contains advice applicable to museums and other cultural venues.
- Two webinars—Theatre Communications Group’s Coronavirus Preparedness Webinar and the Event Safety Alliance’s Prepare Your Organization for the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak—may be of particular interest to performing arts groups.
- The League of American Orchestras coronavirus resources page includes examples of sample audience communications as well as other readiness recommendations.
- Americans for the Arts offers basic individual prevention measures to share with attendees, program participants, and employees.
We know that ArtsWA grantees and program constituents have many questions and concerns. We will be posting changes and information to our standard operating procedures as related to COVID 19 on this website as the situation evolves. Please check back.