Monthly Archives: March 2020

Coronavirus Information

March 24th, 2020|

When to seek medical evaluation and advice

  • If you have a cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, speak with your healthcare provider before going to a medical facility. Do not go to an emergency room.
  • If you believe you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 9-1-1.

Washington State’s Coronavirus Response

The Washington State Coronavirus Website

This website features the most up-to-date and accurate information about coronavirus in Washington state. The website includes, but is not limited to:

  • Information about Gov. Jay Inslee’s orders
  • Statistics about coronavirus cases
  • Multilingual resources
  • Information about businesses and workers

Washington State Department of Health

The Washington State Department of Health’s Website

Coronavirus Hotline: 1-800-525-0127 (staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week)

The Washington State Department of Health coronavirus website provides a comprehensive look at the situation in Washington. The website includes, but is not limited to:

  • Information about testing
  • Statewide statistics
  • Contact information for local health jurisdictions

School Closures and Education Information

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Website

This website provides information for parents, educators and school districts about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting local schools — and the resources and best practices that will help communities deal with the closures. The website includes, but is not limited to:

  • Information about school meals
  • Parent guides in both English and Spanish
  • Tips for talking to kids about coronavirus
  • Guidance for school districts about various topics

King County’s Coronavirus Response

King County Public Health’s Website

King County Coronavirus Call Center: 206-477-3977 (Staffed from 8 a.m. to 7  p.m., seven days a week)

This website provides King County-specific information about the Coronavirus pandemic, and how it is being addressed locally. The website includes, but is not limited to:

  • Instructions on what to do if you are ill
  • Accurate local statistics
  • Public health recommendations in several languages

Additional Information

Articles about coronavirus and K-12 education:

How Will Schools Provide Special Education During the Coronavirus Crisis? (Education Week)

E-Newsletter: Coronavirus Resources

March 20th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors of the 41st Legislative District,

My thoughts go out to you and your families as you work to keep yourselves and your families healthy during this coronavirus outbreak. We are all deeply saddened for the families who have suffered loss or who are currently suffering.

I’m sure that many of you are scared, worried and stressed as we all try to get through this unprecedented event. It can be hard in times like these to know where to turn, and where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information.

This website contains a wealth of information from Governor Jay Inslee’s office, our state agencies, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more. In this note I’ve included a lot of the helpful information – from tools for handling stress, to resources for our out-of-work neighbors, to tips for talking to kids. But I encourage you to explore this website for yourselves, and to pass it on to others in our community who have questions.

In addition, I have heard from many people who are being laid off from their hospitality and restaurant jobs as well as the owners of these establishments who are seeking assistance to cover payroll or otherwise maintain their business.   There is information further down on the Small Business Association and other resources that should become available, I hope very shortly.

What to do if you are ill

If you are ill with fever and a cough or non-acute shortness of breath, please stay home. If you are unsure of how to care for yourself or are concerned about your condition, call your health care provider for advice. If you feel you need to visit your doctor, call them first. Keep yourself separated from other people and animals in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often.

Leave some for your neighbor – don’t buy more than you need!

Washington State’s supply chains are operating normally, yet consumers are overstocking and clearing store shelves of the items that sick neighbors, doctors, dentists and emergency response personnel need to stay safe. Health experts emphasize the best way to protect yourself from infection is through washing your hands frequently and limiting contact with others, not by overstocking certain supplies. Leave some for the folks who need them most!

Supporting affected employers and workers

State agencies have been working with federal agencies, employers and workers to support businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.

Resources for you and your family

We all play a part in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Learn how to protect and care for yourself and your family, how to cope with feelings of isolation or anxiety, determine whether you or a loved one is at higher risk from COVID-19, and find resources to get the care you need.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or phone. Please keep yourselves, your families and your neighbors safe and healthy.


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    A statement from Sen. Wellman on school closures in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties

A statement from Sen. Wellman on school closures in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties

March 12th, 2020|

Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) released the following statement today regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to close public schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Wellman serves as chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.

“Our number one concern is keeping our students, staff and their families safe. We know many people who attend or work in our schools have compromised immune systems, existing medical conditions, elderly relatives and other concerns. We’re keeping those concerns in mind as we move forward. We’re also taking into account the financial and academic concerns that school closures cause.

In the last several weeks, we’ve been working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and local school districts to anticipate their needs and ensure that we have policies in place to lessen the burdens placed on students and school employees.

As adequate access to healthcare is one of our best tools for addressing this pandemic, we have approved a measure that allows school employees to maintain health insurance eligibility for the remainder of the school year during the COVID-19 state of emergency, even if the employees would otherwise lose eligibility due to a school closure or changes in school operations. The idea is that all school employees who had insurance prior to this emergency – including hourly employees – will maintain that coverage.

We have also adopted a policy that gives the State Board of Education the authority to establish an emergency waiver program to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on high school graduations. Students who were on track to graduate prior to the governor declaring a state of emergency on Feb. 29 could receive a waiver.

Again, our priority is helping our communities stay healthy. I thank the Governor, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Legislature for taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and taking steps to help our state.”

E-Newsletter: Coronavirus Update and Information

March 6th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I wanted to send an update to our community with some resources and information about coronavirus from the Washington State Department of Health and Public Health: Seattle & King County. These resources include ways to keep yourselves and your loved ones healthy, and to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

In addition to the resources from our local and state health departments, I’d like to share a website put together by Mercer Island High School student Avi Schiffran. This website compiles data, maps, FAQs, prevention information and statistics. You can find the information here:

If you’re currently experiencing symptoms of coronoavirus, please call your doctor. Don’t go to a clinic or hospital. Your doctor will make an assessment about next steps and contact public health officials if a test is needed.

If you are in King County and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus but don’t have a doctor to call, stay home and contact the King County novel coronavirus call center at 206-477-3977.

Symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

The following measures can help keep you and loved ones healthy:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizers if you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with an elbow, sleeve or tissue.
  • Good personal health habits (diet/exercise).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your face.

Additional Resources:

The Washington State Department of Health has also established a call center to address questions. Given the high call volume, it is best to research general questions online if you can. If you need advice about what to do if you have symptoms, you can call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

You can stay informed at these pages:

You can find information about how the situation affects school closures here.

What we are doing in Olympia

The Senate passed an operating budget last week that dramatically increased funding for coronavirus response with an additional $10 million for public health.

Much more funding is on the way. New legislation to transfer $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund into the state disaster response account has passed the House, and we passed it the Senate yesterday (HB 2965).You can read more about that bill here.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email, phone or social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for the honor of serving you in Olympia.

Take care of yourselves and each other,