Mayor Jenny Durkan Issues Executive Order to Align City Policies with Extended ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ Order

SEATTLE (April 6, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today issued an Executive Order to align the City of Seattle’s policies on facility closures and permit suspensions with Governor Inslee’s statewide ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order, which is now extended until at least May 4, 2020. The Governor’s order was first announced on March 23 and bans all gatherings, closes all non-essential businesses unless employees can work from home, and requires all Washingtonians to stay home unless they are engaging in an essential activity.

“Limiting person-to-person contact is saving lives, and extending the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order is critical to continuing to flatten the curve. The City, county, and state took early action to encourage social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and the preliminary data shows that our efforts are working,” said Mayor Durkan. “While many City services have moved online, we know that our City facilities serve as important neighborhood hubs and provide essential services to our residents. We need individuals to stay home unless traveling to an essential job or essential business like a grocery store. Far too many individuals continue gathering in our parks and are not maintaining physical distancing. For the health of our community, we all must do our part. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we will get through this if we continue to look out for one another’s health and wellbeing.”

The Mayor’s Executive Order extends the following policies until May 4:

  1. Closure of City facilities including public-facing counters, Seattle Public Library locations, and community centers and Seattle beaches;
  2. Suspension of City-permitted events, with the exception of farmers markets which will continue to be for a potential re-opening;
  3. Suspension of enforcement of paid parking requirements on City streets and enforcement of select hourly time limits outside no-parking or special zones; and
  4. Continuing the Utility Discount Program’s self-certification pilot program.

The Mayor’s Executive Order extends the following policies until further notice:

  1. Suspension of enforcement of the 72-hour parking rule, and suspension of booting and towing vehicles with unpaid parking tickets;
  2. Creation of temporary restaurant loading zones, and temporary parking zones for hospital and human services staff; and
  3. Flexible payment plans and shutoff policies for City utilities. 

Policies including deferred B&O payments, rent relief for tenants of City facilities, and the moratoriums on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions follow timelines that extend beyond May 4.

The City of Seattle will continue to work with Seattle’s Farmers Market Masters, under the guidance of Public Health – Seattle & King County, to establish parameters and conditions for food operations in farmers markets to safely operate as essential businesses and minimize exposure to COVID-19. This includes strict guidelines around health screening, social distancing, sanitation, and other operations.  

While Public Health – Seattle & King County ultimately decides if conditions are being met, the City is committed to partnering with farmers markets to do everything we can to allow farmers markets to re-open as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, there are a number of ways Seattle residents can support small farmers immediately and access local fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information please see the websites for Seattle Farmers Market Association and Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets.

The facility closures impact the following departments:

Finance and Administrative Services (FAS): The City’s Customer Service Bureau, eight Customer Service Centers (including the Mobile Customer Service Center), Seattle Animal Shelter, Treasury Services, Consumer Protection, License and Tax Administration, and Purchasing and Contracting will remain closed until at least May 4. At the current time, anyone needing to pay City bills in cash can obtain a money order free of charge for up to $1,000 per person from any Wells Fargo branch within Seattle city limits. Payments can be mailed or placed in payment drop boxes at the City’s Customer Service Centers. While the Seattle Animal Shelter’s public-facing counter is closed, the shelter has launched an appointment-based adoption system, allowing customers to adopt animals while following strict social distancing guidelines while at the shelter. Visit the FAS website for more information, including instructions regarding bid receipts and public bids.

Office of Labor Standards (OLS): The OLS reception area will remain closed until at least May 4. Residents can contact OLS by phone at 206-256-5297, by Text Telephone at 7-1-1, or by email at laborstandards@seattle.gov. Visit the OLS website for more information

Seattle City Light (SCL): The public walk-in areas at the North Service Center (1300 N 97th St., Seattle 98103) and South Service Center (3613 Fourth Ave. S., Seattle 98134) will remain closed until at least May 4. Customers can still use the payment drop boxes, and SCL is always available to help with account and billing needs online or over the phone at 206-684-3000. Visit the SCL website for more information.

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI): The Applicant Services Center, Public Resource Center, and 19th floor reception area will remain closed until at least May 4. Visit the SDCI website for more information.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT): The Street Use permit counter and Traffic and Parking permit counter, located on the 23rd and 37th floors of the Seattle Municipal Tower, respectively, will remain closed until at least May 4. Visit the SDOT website for more information.

The Seattle Public Library (SPL): All locations of The Seattle Public Library will remain closed until at least May 4. Digital media and online resources are available for free for anyone with a Library card. Seattle residents can sign up instantly to receive access to e-books and e-audiobooks through the Library’s OverDrive service. Visit spl.org for more information. 

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR): All programming, rentals, and permitted events will remain canceled, and all community centers, pools, environmental learning centers, and all other recreation facilities will remain closed to the public until at least May 4. In addition, parking at Green Lake, Lincoln, Golden Gardens, Seward Park, Magnuson Park, Gas Works, Alki Beach, and Discovery Park, and all Seattle beaches will be closed until at least May 4. Visit the SPR website for more information.

Seattle Police Department (SPD): All police headquarter counter services will remain closed until at least May 4. Visit the SPD website for more information.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU): The SPU customer service walk up counter, engineering records vault, and Development Services Office public desk, all located at 700 5th Avenue, Transfer Station public viewing rooms, the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, and Rattlesnake Ledge Recreation Area and Trail in North Bend will remain closed until at least May 4. Visit the SPU website for more information.