Keeping Our Community Amidst Covid-19
Visit our Covid-19 Resource page to connect to resource material and learn about unemployment insurance, emergency loans, and other tools.
Many Co-ops need help: Visit our Support Page to access their requests.
March 31, 2020
- Governor Inslee preparing to activate National Gaurd to assist with logistics and construction.
- Washington reports 20% decrease in hospitalizations due to Covid-19
- Facts about covid-19 (Seattle Times)
- Do’s and Don’ts of Washington’s Stay at Home order (Seattle Times)
- How and Where to be tested (Seattle Times)
- Watch out for scams on relief funds!
March 27, 2020
- City of Olympia has taken the following actions:
- $50,000 to the Thurston County United Way Relief Fund
- $500,000 to support projects
- Moratorium on utility collections (no interest) for 60 days
- Business and Occupation Tax and PBIA fees deferred to July 31 from April 30th.
- Clallam County Economic Development Council offers a concise summary of the Stimulus Bill awaiting a House Vote.
- The State of Oregon moved its income tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 to conform to the IRS deferred date.
March 26, 2020
- IRS announces “People’s First Initiative“: “freezes installment agreement payments for three months and will not re-direct refunds or installment payments.
- Senate Passes 2.2 Trillion Stimulus Package–House expects vote soon.
- Unemployment claims top 3.2 million breaking 1982 record of 695,000.
- WA Stay at Home order in effect until April 7, Closure of Non-Essential businesses in effect until April 9
March 25, 2020
We are waiting to find out the details of the Relief Package working its way through Congress. We expect the following:
- A one-time $1,200 check to taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000.
- Unemployment Benefits opened up to furloughed, freelance, and gig workers with 4 weeks of enhanced benefits and 13 weeks of additional benefits.
- Small Businesses may receive forgivable loans if they continue to pay workers through the crisis
- Distressed companies may receive bail-out loans
- Hospitals will receive support and medicare payments to providers will increase.
March 23, 2020
- Governor Kate Brown closes non-essential businesses in Oregon
- shopping for groceries, medical trips, fuel
- no gatherings unless or other businesses can occur unless a 6 ft distance can be maintained between people.
- Governor Inslee closes “non-essential” businesses in Washington and orders Stay at Home Order.
- Minimize physical contact except for
- shopping for groceries and medical trips.
- All gatherings banned for social, religious, and community events.
- Essential businesses include: critical businesses to combat the pandemic (transportation, food production, grocery, government, media, and medical).
- Order will be effective for 14 days.
- Minimize physical contact except for
March 21, 2020
- Everett, WA issues stay at home order–first community to do so in Washington
- SBA adds counties and states to emergency loan list
March 20, 2020
- Individual Tax Filing Deadline extended to July 15.
- New York and California issue “Shelter in Place” order to cover the entire state.
- Washington Employment Security Department flooded with claims.
- As testing in WA increases (see WA DoH Page), about 8% of people test positive in King and Snohomish counties.
March 19, 2020
- US Cases 1op 10,000, 40% of those hospitalized under 40.
- President signs Covid-19 relief act into law: free testing and emergency sick pay.
- President bans evictions and foreclosures for 60 days.
- Senate preparing cash payments to individuals in the third wave of Covid-19 relief bills.
- Olympia, WA declares Public Health Emergency
- Today is the first day of Spring!
March 18, 2020
- Governor Inslee (WA) bans residential evictions for 30 days.
- President Trump invokes Defense Protection Act to direct the manufacturing of needed medical supplies.
- Canadian border closed to non-essential travel
- Orca Books closed to public, but offering curb pick-up.
- NWCDC reschedules it Marketing Symposium until late summer.
- NWCDC converts its co-op academy to a webinar platform.
March 16, 2020
In Washington, Governor Inslee has issued the following order to be in effect until March 31, 2020:
- Temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.
- Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.
- The ban does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.
- Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
March 14, 2020
“If you are affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. We adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. This easy-to-read comparison guide lists some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply.
- Workers may receive unemployment benefits and employers may get relief of benefit charges if an employer needs to shut down operations temporarily because a worker becomes sick and other workers need to be isolated or quarantined as a result of COVID-19.
- Standby will be available for part-time workers as well as full-time workers, as long as they meet the minimum 680 hours.
- Workers that are asked to isolate or quarantine by a medical professional or public health official as a result of exposure to COVID-19 may receive unemployment benefits and work search requirements could be waived, so long as they have a return date with their employer. The return to work date can be the date the isolation or quarantine is lifted.
- If a worker falls seriously ill and is forced to quit, they cannot collect unemployment benefits while they are seriously ill but may be eligible once they recover and are able and available for work.
Puget Sound Energy Announces Covid-19 Plan
As a provider of an essential service, we are working to ensure we are here for our customers, our community and our employees as coronavirus impacts the region.
We know some of our business and residential customers might be worried about paying their bills. Here are measurable actions we’ve taken on behalf of our customers:
- PSE will not be disconnecting customers during this time.
- PSE received approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission for a waiver that allows PSE to waive late fees.
- PSE will work with our customers on options such as payment plans and choosing a new bill due date.
- PSE launched a new energy assistance portal to improve access to funds available to low income customers.
- In order to help our community partners, the PSE Foundation, which is a nonprofit entity operating independently of PSE but helps the communities PSE serves, is donating $250,000 to support relief efforts in the community through the Seattle Foundation as well as donating to foodbanks to cover emergency preparations.
March 13, 2020
- Staff may choose to work from home.
- Should staff develop symptoms, we have committed to notifying each other and conducting work on-line rather than in-person.
- We are encouraging staff and their clients to conduct as much of their work as possible on-line.
- We have decided to cancel Co-opatopia for 2020 this April.
- We are considering other events planned for this spring and will make decisions on whether to postpone or transition to an on-line event shortly.