$125 Million for Coronavirus response
Governor Inslee signed an emergency proclamation on February 29, directing state agencies to use state resources to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 outbreak and to utilize the National and State Guards as necessary.
Last Tuesday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved the appropriation of $100 million to get state agencies, local governments and federally recognized tribes the necessary funding to assist with the coronavirus response.
On March 4, the Senate also passed the bill unanimously after adopting a couple of amendments increasing the amount to $125 million.
At a Legislative briefing, Washington Department of Health (DOH) Secretary John Wiesman reported that the agency is spending $60,000 per day responding to the outbreak, and total spending has surpassed $3.5 million since the beginning of the year.
DOH Recommendations & Resources
As this situation continues to rapidly unfold you can track the latest developments at the Department of Health Coronavirus website, and continue protecting yourself and your family by following these recommendations:
Additionally, you can follow the DOH links below for information on home quarantine and testing protocols:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Updates
The CDC has a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary website that is updated as new information becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
Workers’ Comp for quarantined health workers and first responders
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is immediately changing its policy around workers’ compensation coverage for health care workers and first responders quarantined by a physician, or public health officer, after being exposed to COVID-19 on the job.
That’s what Governor Inslee and Joel Sacks, L&I director, announced last week.
L&I is encouraging employers to continue to pay workers who are quarantined after being exposed. Time loss is partial payment and does not replace a worker’s entire income. Quarantined workers who continue to be paid by their employer may not need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Read the full announcement here.
Resources for businesses and workers
The Governor’s office created a site with a list of resources that compiles comprehensive information on how several agencies can help those impacted by COVID-19:
I encourage you to take a look at that site if you, someone in your household or in your place of work is sick, or just to be prepared in case you need to access any of these resources in the near future.
Knowing what steps to take ahead of time to help your own circumstances can save you hours of frustration trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do at the last minute.
OSPI Guidance and Resources
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has a COVID-19 Guidance & Resources website where school districts and parents can find information, as well as a tracker of school closures, including private schools and higher education institutions.
Below are links to the school districts in the 19th Legislative District, where you can find specific information on your child’s school:
Aberdeen / Adna / Boistfort / Castle Rock / Chehalis / Cosmopolis
Bill signing changes in response to Coronavirus
Yesterday, Governor Inslee issued updates to the bill signing process based on COVID-19.
For the time being, the governor’s office has placed a number of restrictions as a result of recommendations from numerous medical and health officials over the past few days.
So if you were interested or planning to attend a bill signing ceremony, please read the notice.