Dear friends and neighbors,
Starting May 11, election year activity restrictions prohibit lawmakers from sending email updates like these until the November election is certified. Additionally, our legislative websites and Facebook pages will be frozen during that time.
Below you will find a brief update and resources for those struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. We know many in our community will continue to have questions and concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s next for Washington. To help answer those, please continue to reach out to either of our legislative offices and we will assist you in whatever way we can.
Rep. Mia Gregerson & Rep. Tina Orwall
We’d like to thank those of you who tuned into our 33rd Legislative District Virtual Community Conversation on Facebook Live on Tuesday evening. Both of us, along with Sen. Karen Keiser and our guest, Dr. Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer for the Washington State Healthcare Authority, answered many of your questions about COVID-19.
If you were not able to join live, click on the image below to watch it now.
The most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission is to
social distance, avoiding contact with others unless essential. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center: 1-800-525-0127.
- Washington state’s official COVID-19 website
- Washington House Democrats’ COVID-19 resource page
- Washington State Department of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mortgages and foreclosure
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is creating significant concern in our community, including economic anxiety around the ability to pay property taxes, mortgages and rents on
time as many businesses close and people experience employment loss.
To ease this burden, the date to pay residential property taxes was extended from April 30 to June 1 without late fees in King County. The state has set up some resources, however if you are struggling to pay for property taxes or a mortgage on time, get in contact with your lender immediately. Don’t wait to fall behind on payments to make arrangements.
Food access and security
No one should go hungry, especially our kids who may no longer have access to regular meals while schools are shut down due to COVID-19.
This is why our state, local and community partners are coming together to coordinate on the fight against hunger. Most recently, the governor announced the WA Food Fund, which will not only help keep our kids fed, but will also help food banks keep their shelves stocked. It’s a collaboration between government, nonprofits, and philanthropies. It’s a coordinated effort to get food to those in need across the state. Learn more or volunteer by visiting WAFoodFund.org.
Food access locations in South King County
When picking up meals, please remember to Stay Healthy. Stay six feet apart, wear a face mask and gloves and wash your hands.
Highline Public Schools have meal site locations open Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Meals will be available to every child 18 and under. No registration is required. A limited number of learning supply kits, which include crayons, glue sticks, notebooks and other essential school supplies will be provided at some locations. Learn more here.
Kent School District has free pick up meal boxes for all children 18 and under while schools are closed. Meal boxes include five breakfasts and five lunches. Meals are available for pick up at select school locations, community partner sites and bus stops. Learn more here.
King County has put together a resource page for COVID-19 emergency food information, including organizations assisting with food delivery and pick up options.
Washington State has put together a food assistance resource page on the official Washington State COVID-19 website, which includes information on emergency food access.
Mental health for students and adults
While social distancing practices are one of the best ways to slow down the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19, stress and lack of human interaction can have negative impacts on our behavioral health. This can be particularly true for students who may be feeling isolated during the school closures.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has resources for parents and caregivers who are worried about their children and teens during this difficult time. This web page has great information about mental health and safety, coping with anxiety, and recognizing warning signs in young people. Learn more about available student mental health resources.
Adults are also struggling with mental health as we all shift our lives in response to COVID-19. This has been an incredibly stressful time for our community and we are all feeling a wide array of emotions, including anxiety, anger, grief and more. Know that you are not alone, and we have resources to help here.
An additional consequence of COVID-19 is an increased demand on legal aid for recently displaced workers, immigrants, survivors of domestic violence, and low-income people affected by the crisis. Learn more about resources to help.
Please note, the Washington state Supreme Court has suspended all jury trials until July 6, 2020 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Full information about court closures and modifications can be found here.