West Seattle, Washington
Another day with a ton of news. Here’s our nightly roundup:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the once-a-day Seattle-King County Public Health update:
Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/11/20
270 confirmed cases (up 36 from yesterday)
27 confirmed deaths (up 1 from yesterday)
The one death being reported today is in a man in his 80s. He died at EvergreenHealth on 3/11/20.
Of the 27 deaths reported, 22 are associated with Life Care Center of Kirkland.
ANOTHER WEST SEATTLE CASE: As we reported earlier this evening, families of residents at senior-living complex Bridge Park in High Point have been told it has a COVID-19 case, the second West Seattle case we know of.
TOP HAT QUARANTINE/ISOLATION SITE UPDATE: We reported on partner site White Center Now early today that the county is not expecting to bring anyone to the 206 SW 112th site for at least two weeks.
GOVERNOR ORDERS SCHOOL CLOSURES: This afternoon, another media briefing by Gov. Jay Inslee, this time for the announcement that all K-12 schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties must close by next Tuesday, and can’t reopen any sooner than April 27th. Our coverage includes video of the announcement, which also included State Superintendent Chris Reykdal.
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARIES, PARKS FACILITIES CLOSING: A lot of closures today were attributed to the new “public distancing” rules from SKC Public Health. The biggest: Mayor Jenny Durkan announced tonight that after tomorrow, all Seattle Public Library and Seattle Parks buildings will close until at least Aprll 13th. There are a few program exceptions, so read that announcement carefully.
OTHER CLOSURES: Many announcements today – the Log House Museum is closing; ArtsWest has canceled the production that was supposed to open tonight; Southwest Youth and Family Services is closing; WestSide Baby is suspending normal operations; The Little Gym of West Seattle is closing.
BOOK BUSINESSES: Local businesses are working hard to stay open; today we featured news from West Seattle’s two independent bookstores, including delivery plans. (We would love to hear from many other businesses – email us, firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
HELP FOR BUSINESSES? The mayor announced details of a fund offering grants to some small businesses
SPEAKING OF HELP: The Highland Park Elementary PTA is doing a very cool thing – distributing food today, and again tomorrow, to anyone in need:
If you need help, go there. If you don’t, consider donating money/food.
WHAT’S CANCELED, POSTPONED, CHANGED LOCALLY: We’re continuing to update our West Seattle list – see it here (it’ll be caught up with today’s many changes shortly). If your organization, business, church, school, group, etc. has cancellations, postponements, changes, PLEASE let us know – email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302.
WSB CONTINUING COVERAGE: All the stories published on WSB related to the COVID-19 situation are categorized so that you can find them anytime at westseattleblog.com/category/coronavirus. We’re also using Twitter (@westseattleblog) for instant bursts. Any local info you’re NOT finding, please let us know so we can try to serve you better.
7:07 PM: We have been told by multiple sources that families of residents at Bridge Park, a senior living complex at 3204 SW Morgan in High Point, have been notified of a COVID-19 case there. One shared this letter they received, signed by the general manager:
We went over to see what we could find out. The front doors were locked (though their website says they’re usually open until 7:30 pm); a notice on the door says they are not accepting visitors. We have a message out to Bridge Park’s parent company Holiday Retirement but have not yet received a reply. This would be the second publicly known COVID-19 case in West Seattle, after the one announced by South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) earlier this week.
ADDED 12:12 PM: We have heard back from Bridge Park’s parent company. Spokesperson Alyssa Cerrito emailed:
It has been reported to us that a resident at Bridge Park has tested positive for COVID-19. We are following our infectious disease prevention and response protocols. These include isolation for all residents at the community. In addition, we’re following safety measures across every aspect of our community operations, including closing the communal dining room, limiting entry to essential personnel and restricting interaction among our residents and associates. We are in the process of notifying the emergency contacts for our residents.
Our community team contacted King County health authorities immediately upon learning the diagnosis and is awaiting their recommendations on specific further steps to be taken beyond our current actions. Bridge Park is not a medical facility and does not provide healthcare for its residents, however the community will comply fully with all directions from applicable health authorities.
Additional information about Holiday Retirement’s response to the COVID-19 situation can be found at:
(As far as we could tell from a quick look, that link does NOT include any information specific to the Bridge Park situation.)
ADDED 5:28 PM: From a letter sent to residents and families from Holiday Retirement, saying this is what they knew as of 1 pm today:
Yesterday, we informed the Bridge Park community that one of our residents had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. First, we thank residents and their family members for their understanding and cooperation during this stressful time. We know it is not enjoyable for residents to isolate in their apartments, but limiting social contact is truly the best way to prevent the spread of this virus.
Bridge Park has the support of the entire Holiday Retirement family, and our support center and community leadership team are working tirelessly to maintain essential services to residents while keeping our residents and employees safe.
We would like to reiterate the importance of limiting contact among residents and with the outside world. Leaving and reentering the community will only increase all residents’ risk of contracting the virus. We especially appreciate the understanding of family members who are unable to enter the community to visit with their loved ones. Please be assured that we are doing all we can to keep your loved ones safe and comfortable.
Today at approximately 11 am Pacific Time, community management and the Holiday support center spoke with the King County Department of Public Health. The Department advised Bridge Park to continue with the measures it has already implemented. The Department also said that it will follow-up with any additional guidelines within the next couple of days and requested that we call the Department if we learn of any additional cases.
We understand that testing for COVID-19 is not widely available. However, if you experience symptoms and see a doctor, we encourage you to ask your doctor about being tested. If we obtain any information from the Department of Public Health about testing availability, we will share it with the Bridge Park community in a future update.
If you would like additional information about the situation at Bridge Park, please call the community’s phone number at (206) 938-6394. In order to allow community staff to attend to residents’ needs without distraction, the Holiday support center will help you when you call. We apologize in advance if your call is not immediately answered. Please understand that our first priority is supporting Bridge Park and other Holiday Retirement communities with all available resources to address this rapidly evolving situation. If you are unable immediately to speak with a live individual, please leave a message or a callback number and someone will respond as quickly as possible.
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan has announced additional steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Researchers are estimating that there are 1,100 active COVID-19 infections in our region. By early April, the region may see 25,000 people infected if no actions are taken. To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, The Seattle Public Library will close all Library locations. Except for preschool programs and hygiene services, Seattle Parks and Recreation will cancel all programming, rentals, and permitted events, and close all community centers, pools, environmental learning centers, and all other recreation facilities to the public.
This announcement follows the State and County’s new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including a prohibition of events with more than 250 people, and a prohibition on events with less than 250 people, if they don’t meet public health guidance on social distancing and hygiene. All closures will take effect at 6 p.m. tomorrow, March 13, and will last until at least April 13. The City will be in continued contact with public health officials to evaluate our facilities beyond this timeline. …
Many vulnerable populations, including people living unsheltered, rely on community centers and libraries to provide critical hygiene services. That’s why Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will continue the shower program for those in need at Delridge, Green Lake, Meadowbrook, Miller and Rainier community centers, and all SPR bathrooms and handwashing stations will remain open.
Understanding our preschool programs are critical for families in Seattle, the City will allow preschool programs in community centers to operate with the latest public heath guidance, and the department will evaluate the feasibility of continuing to keep these programs open. Affordable and accessible childcare and preschool is critical for so many residents, especially as Seattle Public Schools close, which is why SPR is also looking to create alternate programs for before and after school care. All facilities that remain open will continue to be cleaned in accordance with public health guidance.
The Seattle Public Library (SPL) will continue to provide many digital services, such as e-books and e-audiobooks; streaming movies, TV and music services; free access to magazines and newspapers; and more. SPL’s ‘Ask Us’ reference question platform, which can be accessed online and or by phone, may experience some downtime as the Library works to enable staff to do this work from home. The Library is also extending loan periods during this time, and patrons do not need to return materials until SPL is back in full operation. SPL is also a fine-free library, so no patrons will incur late fines during this time.
“We are in the midst of unprecedented times and challenges and, while it is difficult to make the decision to close our libraries to respond to COVID-19, I know it is the right one for the health and safety of our public, staff and volunteers,” said Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner. “We encourage all cardholders to explore our rich collection of digital resources during this period of limited social contact and limited recreational options. We provide free access to music, movies, TV, newspapers, magazines and more. We will be looking at other creative ways to serve our community during this time, and we look forward to welcoming our patrons back into our buildings as soon as we can.”
Even before this announcement, SPL said it was closing its branches at 6 tonight because of staffing shortages.
Local businesses are hosting the West Seattle Art Walk tonight:
GET NOSTALGIC AT CLICK! At Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor): Featured artist Rick Moreno is there until 8 pm. He says, “When you do something that resonates with you personally, it’s a real joy to do it.” His “1973” and “The ’70s” collections are now at Click!. (4540 California SW)
JEWELRY POP-UP AT VAIN: West Seattle jewelry artist Nani O. Pratt is at VAIN (WSB sponsor) – which is a boutique as well as a salon – until 8 pm. (4513 California SW)
More highlights on the Art Walk website, here.
We have updates today from West Seattle’s independent local bookstores:
PEGASUS BOOK EXCHANGE: This Junction bookstore is now offering delivery, within 3 miles of the store, on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Mondays. They’ll take orders via email – pegasusbookexchange (at) gmail.com – and get back to you with a cost. Delivery fee is $5 but will be waived for purchases over $50. Here’s an image of the full announcement. Pegasus’s store is still open, too – 4553 California SW (and they have an online shop here).
PAPER BOAT BOOKSELLERS: This Morgan Junction bookstore also working on delivery. Meantime, some other changes. From co-proprietor Desirae:
We will be reducing our hours temporarily starting tomorrow 3/13. For right now, we feel that this is necessary due to school closures as well as the health and safety of our team and our customers. We will find every way we can to get books into the hands of those who need them!!! We are working on our online store right now and plan to deliver to those who can’t make it in – more details to come… Family reading time is canceled for the remainder of the month! Still happening: Classic Novels Book Club this Sunday at 2:00! As always – feel free to call or email us with questions and to place your book orders. We love you, West Seattle, and we will work together to create a stronger, more healthy community by supporting each other as best we can!
Paper Boat is at 6040 California SW.
Also closing because advised “social distancing” would not be possible – The Little Gym of West Seattle. From their announcement:
After very careful consideration following yesterday’s announcements by Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Public Schools, we have made the difficult decision that we must close the Little Gym of West Seattle for a minimum of 14 days, effective Friday, March 13th due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). We are basing this decision on recommendations issued by Governor Jay Inslee, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
As of this time, we would plan to reopen Friday, March 27th, however as this is a rapidly-changing situation, we will continue to monitor and assess, and take into account any recommendations or mandates from government agencies.
We know there will be many questions about what this means for you. We are working through this and are prepared to take your questions and concerns as best as we can. Thank you for your patience and graciousness during this unprecedented event.
As we have mentioned in classes, our goal was to keep our doors open as long as possible in order to support our students and families. Our incredible teachers and TLG families / students have been diligent in our commitment to enhanced cleaning and illness protocols, and we appreciate everyone’s effort. Closing is in no way because of a failure in those practices. Despite our best efforts to remain open, we cannot continue to do so and still be in compliance with social distancing regulations. We have a responsibility, as a company who works with all your children, to comply with these guidelines in order to ensure a safer and healthier community for all.
We realize no decision we could make would satisfy every person that attends TLG. We know that we are a respite for many of our students and families, and we have heard from many of you that you were thankful we remained open. We are saddened to take a two-week break from our work that we are so passionate about, and more importantly, from the students that are like family to us.
However, we know that if our community is to stop the spread of this virus, that we have an obligation to adhere to the same actions. Even though we fall well below the 250-person regulation, we cannot safely adhere to social distancing. It is impossible to conduct progressive and safe gymnastics if we are unable to spot our kids, and keep everyone separated by at least six feet at all times. We also worry about putting our vulnerable populations at greater risk by continuing the spread of this virus so feel the most responsible thing we can do.
What does this mean for families enrolled in classes and paying tuition?
This schedule of makeup classes will take some time for us to put together logistically, but please know we will work on a solution to try and accommodate all our members. …
We’ll continue to publish business announcements – what IS continuing/staying open/happening, as well as closures/cancellations – firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
ArtsWest Playhouse in The Junction says it has to cancel its new production “Saint Joan” – planned to open tonight, after a preview performance last night – because it’s “unable to meet the [new Public Health] requirements, especially those of social distancing.” They’ll be “working over the next few weeks to determine if we can offer ‘Saint Joan’ later in our season schedule.” And AW adds it will email ticketholders with info when they have it. The announcement on the AW website also notes that this will hurt, as they’re a nonprofit dependent on ticket revenue; here’s how to donate if you can.
2:04 PM: Governor Inslee has just announced that ALL K-12 schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties must be closed by next Tuesday, and won’t be able to reopen before April 27th. He says this is a “tipping point” if there is hope of slowing the COVID-19 outbreak. (Most, but not all, schools in our area already have closed or announced closure plans.) He says this might have to expand to other counties but right now he’s starting with these three. “Our top priority is reducing the number of infections and deaths.”
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal says that while it’s good that kids aren’t being affected as much by the virus, they can be “carriers.” Regarding the return to school on April 27th, he says they’ll be “constantly reviewing” that plan. He says King County schools’ absence rate has almost doubled recently (6% to 11%). He stresses the point that “this is not like the flu” and systems have to prepare for the possibility of longer closures, including figuring out how distance learning would work. Reykdal says everyone should think of next week as “spring break” so that substitute education, food, etc., plans can be made. He also says state funding for public schools will “keep flowing.” They’re also still figuring out what this will mean for high-school seniors. State testing, however, will likely be entirely suspended, he says.
Will these lost days have to be made up? Reykdal says they’ve advised districts that likely some days – assuming schools DO resume April 27th – will have to be made up, but there’s no “mathematical” way that ALL the lost days can or will be made up.
As for colleges, any still open need to be getting ready for potential closures, the governor says.
2:57 PM: The briefing is over so we’ve taken down the live-video window and put up a still photo. (If/when we find archived video, we’ll add it.) Here’s the governor’s news release.
5:01 PM: Here’s the video:
We are here at Highland Park Elementary, handing out grocery bags of food and sack lunches to our school families. We’ll be here all day, until 7 and again tomorrow.
Food is available to our community members in need; please stop by. We are taking donations of food or volunteers, and donations can be made via PayPal to email@example.com. Thank you for your help! The more support we receive, the more families we can help during this school closure.
HPE is at 1012 SW Trenton [map].
Our list of what’s happening today starts with the West Seattle Art Walk, with local businesses opening their doors “5 pm to late” every second Thursday to feature artists. Here’s the mzp/venue list (PDF); here’s a list of highlights via the WSAW website.
Also during the Art Walk, VAIN (4513 California SW; WSB spomsor) will feature West Seattle jewelry artist Nani O. Pratt, 5-8 pm.
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY UPDATE: Libraries are open but all branches are closing at 6 tonight “because of staffing shortages.”
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Yes, it’s open. Noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Yes, it’s open. 5-8 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
OPEN MIC: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), all genres. No cover, all ages. (5612 California SW)
Now – what’s not happening (from our full cancellations, postponements, changes list):
(update) CANCELED – “Saint Joan” at ArtsWest
CANCELED – Playspace at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene
CANCELED – Words, Writers, Southwest Stories
CANCELED – Optimum Life Wellness Fair at Brookdale West Seattle
Please continue sending in not only cancellations/changes but also announcements of what IS happening – firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – business info welcome too – thank you!
Metro‘s regular “service change” is coming up March 21st, and we’ve been watching for the full list of systemwide changes. They’re now up on the Metro website. Turns out the big change for West Seattle is one we’ve already reported – bus-stop removals meant to speed up Route 50, but affecting other routes. They’re not the only ones – the service-change website says, “Twenty-seven stops will be closed along Route 50 to improve performance. Some closures will also impact routes 55, 56, 57, 128, and 775.” Here’s our February report on the West Seattle stops being removed, and why. The new timetables for all the affected routes are linked from the service-change webpage.
WEEKEND REMINDER: The NB Highway 99 tunnel is scheduled to be closed for maintenance, Friday at 10 pm until Saturday at 8 am.