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Mayor Durkan Issues Statement on Governor Inslee’s Extension on Statewide Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

SEATTLE (December 8, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued a statement following the announcement of Governor Jay Inslee’s extension on statewide restrictions on social gatherings and businesses.  In the last two weeks, King County has had 9,114 residents test positive for COVID-19 including 2,170 new cases in Seattle and nearly 100 new hospitalizations of Seattle residents. Governor Inslee has extended his statewide restrictions social gatherings and businesses  until January 4, 2021.  

“Governor Inslee and public health officials are making the difficult decision to extend statewide restrictions, but these actions will save lives and prevent our hospital system from becoming overwhelmed as we’re seeing in cities and states across the country. The state and region’s cases and hospitalizations are at similar alarming levels as this Spring. Our actions will shape our ability to return to a more normal life in the months to come. While we’re nine months into this deadly virus that has impacted our lives dramatically, we must strictly follow all public health guidance including testing, masking, and avoiding gatherings. The City will continue to do all it can, but it’s up to all of us to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities, particularly our most vulnerable,” said Mayor Durkan.  

Last week, Mayor Durkan announced with City Council $5 million in new grants to support small businesses and workers impacted but the COVID-19 pandemic, focused mainly on restaurants, bars, and workers in the hospitality industry. To date, the City has invested $8.6 million in small businesses through the Small Business Stabilization Fund. In addition, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development is offering technical support to small businesses applying to round 3 of Washington State’s Working Washington small business grants.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have impacted so many small businesses and workers. People are hurting. These actions will have a particularly profound impact on our small businesses. While Seattle will continue to work creatively to provide direct financial assistance to our workers and small businesses,  the state is providing critical relief, said Mayor Durkan. “The Republican Senator Majority Leader has been holding COVID-19 relief hostage as people are hurting – it’s wrong. We need the federal government to immediately pass another COVID-19 relief package that includes help to workers and cities, said Mayor Durkan.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the City of Seattle has worked quickly to launch COVID-19 relief programs including rent relief, expanding shelter for people experiencing homelessness, grocery vouchers for working families, and financial assistance to small businesses. Residents and businesses can find a list of existing COVID-19 relief resources and policies on this website. 

The City has administered over 450,000 COVID tests across the Aurora, SoDo, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle Citywide testing locations since June.  Information regarding free public testing can be found here.  

Members of the public can track the current level of COVID-19 in Seattle and King County’s on Public Health – Seattle & King County’s data dashboard. The dashboard is updated daily.