The City will be receiving ten parklets within the next two weeks. Once assembled, these parklets will facilitate physically distant outdoor dining and retail.
Mask Up Washington
The Statewide masking order issued by Secretary of Health John Wiesman includes all common spaces and private social situations. Unless you have a medical condition that makes it unsafe for you to wear a mask, you are required to wear a mask at all times, unless you’re at home with members of your own household.
Secretary of Health John Wiesman explains that, “Transmission reduction efforts are still insufficient to limit the continued growth of COVID-19. This is why fewer, shorter, and safer interactions are crucial. Staying home is still safest but if you go out, keep it quick, keep your distance from others, and wear a face covering.”
Washington State Department of Health Update
The Washington State Department of Health in a press release reported that COVID-19 transmission is continuing to grow across the state. Positive test results in eastern Washington has been slowly decreasing; however at 14.6% it remains very high and is over three times as high as in western Washington, where it is 4.2%.
The recent concentration of new cases in young adults has continued to spread into younger and older age groups. New hospitalizations are increasing across most age groups in both western and eastern Washington. Deaths continue to rise in eastern Washington, and have been increasing in western Washington for much of July.
Phase 3 Metrics
The State’s Risk Assessment Dashboard shows a breakdown of the status of each county in meeting the metrics to move to phase 3. To move to phase 3, a county must have the following:
1. A county must have fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents over 14 consecutive days. We currently have 106 new cases per 100,000 residents.
2. A county must have greater than 50 individuals tested per each new case during the prior week. We currently have 29.3 tests per each new case.
3. The percentage of individuals testing positive must be less than 2%. We are currently at 3.4%.
4. The percentage of beds occupied in a county must me less than 80%. We are currently at 84.7%
5. Lastly, the percentage of those beds occupied by COVID-19 cases must be less than 10%. We are currently at 4.2%.
Skagit County is currently meeting only one of the five metrics needed to move to phase 3.
By the numbers
Island Hospital has tested a total of 3,430 people with a total of 49 positive cases, 9 positive hospitalized cases, and there have been no deaths. Skagit County Public Health has reported 836 confirmed cases, with 21 fatalities, and 83 total hospitalizations as of August 4, 2020.
Since the testing site opened at Skagit Valley College, there have been 16,542 COVID-19 tests performed, with 388 people testing positive. These tests were performed with the help of 143 volunteers who have put in over 60,000 hours of time. Skagit County is the only county in Washington State who has been able to continuously offer drive-through testing.
Skagit County Public Health will test anyone five years of age or older who feels they should be tested, and is encouraging anyone who fits into the following guidelines to get tested: those who are essential workers, anyone with any COVID-19 symptoms, anyone whose physician recommended they be tested, anyone who lives or works in a congregate setting, pregnant women, and anyone who is a close contact or has a known exposure to COVID-19.
Testing is available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 pm at Skagit Valley College. The County has been experiencing high volumes of people on Mondays, topping 500 people and with wait times of 3 hours.
Local Fiscal Impact
On the City’s Finance Department website you can sign up for business and dog licensing, sign up for utility billing auto pay, or make a one-time payment. You can also call utility billing directly at 360-293-1909 for utility related questions or to get signed up for auto pay. City Hall remains closed to the Public in Phase 2 so if you require assistance or have questions about services from our Finance Department please call 360-293-1909.
City Council Public Comment
Planning, Community, and Economic Development
The City will be receiving 10 Parklets within the next two weeks. Once assembled, these Parklets will facilitate physically distant outdoor dining and retail. They will be located at:
• Fidalgo Artisan Yarn and Clothing
• Brown Lantern
• Dads Diner
• Nonna Luisa
• Drink Your Veggies
• Mamma Wing
• El Jinete
Critical Areas Regulations
The Planning Commissions recommended that a second draft of the Critical Areas Regulations begin being reviewed by City Council in workshops on August 10, 17 and 24. The purpose of these workshops is for the City Council to review the Planning Commission’s recommendation and direct staff to make changes as needed prior to developing a third draft. The third draft of the Critical Areas Regulations will be open for public comment and presented at a Public Hearing at an upcoming City Council meeting with appropriate public notice.
Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department
The following recreation activities have been cancelled: Parks and Recreation’s Fall Soccer League and Youth Sailing. The City of Anacortes Parks and Recreation Department will be offering soccer activities and skill building appropriate for small groups. Information will be available soon on the City’s website. The City continues to adapt fall events to find opportunities for physically distant recreational opportunities. News regarding the Mt. Erie Road, Trail Run, and other activities are forthcoming.
Anacortes Senior Activities Center
The Senior Activity Center staff is working on programs for both outreach to seniors and enrichment activities. The Aging Mastery Program is conducting classes virtually and continues to look at opportunities for expansion.
The Parks and Recreation Department, Anacortes Public Library, and the Museum are collaborating with the Anacortes School District to provide activities for youth this fall. The Mayor and Superintendent Irish have begun a dialogue regarding ways that the City can offer kids and families exciting programs that meet social distancing requirements through the use of its facilities and assistance with programming.
During phase 2 the Library has implemented curbside pickup, Monday through Friday 11am to 4pm. If you have items to return, please drop them off at the back book drop on 9th Street, which is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11am to 4pm.
Library Events August 3-8
Tune in live at 6pm to hear Tony DiTerlizzi's classic, Kenny and the Dragon read by Librarian Diana Farnsworth. Diana will reveal some exciting details about the upcoming sequel to Kenny's adventures and she will share special activities and art videos Tony has made so we can all imagine our stories together with the creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Ms. Leslie and Ms. Lisa will be hosting storytime on Wednesdays. Kids can join a library staff member each Monday morning this month at 10am to participate in an art activity together, and teens are invited to join our art class with local artist Greg Dugan each Wednesday at 2pm.
STEAM Kits from the library, including everything you need to paint rocks, do science experiments with microscopes and magnifying glasses, and even small telescopes to look at the sky with our new NASA backpacks are available to check out.
Anacortes School District
The Anacortes School District will begin its fall school year in a fully remote model on Monday, September 14. This decision was made based on the recommendations of the Anacortes School Board. Families will have two options to choose from once registration opens on August 17:
1. ASD Hybrid: the ASD Hybrid model will include an eventual phased-in approach to in-person learning.
2. ASD@Home: ASD@Home is a fully remote option, with a parent or guardian as the primary teacher and ASD staff offering support. Current AMS Principal Ryan Pike will lead ASD@Home.
More information is posted on the Anacortes School District website. The School District is also hosting Q&A sessions via Zoom on August 12 at 5:30pm. https://asd103.zoom.us/j/98720575752
Mayor Gere’s Next COVID-19 Community Briefing: August 12, 2020