Skagit County Moves to Phase 2 of Safe Start Plan
Today Skagit County received approval from the Department of Health to officially move to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start- Reopening Washington Plan.
Phase 2 is not a total lifting of Stay Home, Stay Healthy restrictions. Much of the guidance issued by Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand remains in effect. Skagit County residents and visitors should continue to:
- Wear a mask in public, as long they are medically able.
- Avoid large group gatherings, which are still not allowed.
- Use physical distancing, staying six feet apart from anyone they come in contact with outside their immediate household members.
- Continue to telecommute, if possible.
- For those who are higher risk, continue to stay home as much as possible.
Phase 2 allows for the reopening of some in-person retail, professional services, personal services and restaurants with up to fifty percent capacity. Businesses must be able to comply with issued guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene. Residents are now allowed to gather with five or fewer people from outside of their immediate household per week. Gatherings with more people are still prohibited and considered unsafe.
For more information and complete guidance on requirements for businesses to reopen, please visit www.governor.wa.gov or www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus
Religious and faith-based organizations
In Phase 1 counties may host up to 100 people for outdoor services. In Phase 2, they can host up to 25% of their capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is less, as well as conduct in-home services of five people. Please read the Governor’s article on the details of this allowance.
Report Fraudulent Unemployment Benefit Activity
Unemployment Benefits Fraud
The Anacortes Police Department has received several reports of fraudulent unemployment claims from many local residents who are still working and have not filed for unemployment. If you are a victim, visit the Washington State Employment Security Department’s website to file a claim and closely monitor your accounts for other fraudulent activity.
The Washington State Employment Security Department’s website is the best contact for victims since they issue a claim number and can deny and cancel fraudulent claims. If you have filed a claim on this site, there is no longer a need to call 911 to speak with an officer.
COVID-19 | Drive-Thru Testing
Skagit County Public Health is now offering Drive Thru testing at Skagit Valley College.
They will test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, headache/muscle ache, chills and loss of taste/smell, and ANY healthcare workers or first responders.
Skagit Transit Update
Routes Fares Rider Info: www.SkagitTransit.org
Skagit transit customer service is presently open
- 6AM-7PM Monday thru Friday
- 8AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday
Customer Service Phone is 360 757-4433
The following routes will operate on the Saturday schedule.
- Route 40x, 90x, 204, 207, 209. 300, 305, 410, 615 and 717
- Route 80x will have modified
- Route 205 and 206 will go to hourly departures leaving Skagit Station on the hour.
Skagit Transit remains committed to the safety of our riders and has implemented additional disinfecting methods when cleaning the vehicle fleet daily. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, transit should be used for essential travel only. Reducing demand will make transit safer for those who have no alternatives but to ride Skagit Transit. Skagit Transit remains fare free during this time.
Donations to Community Organizations
Find information on local organizations that are accepting donations below. If your organization is not listed and you would like to be added please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Anacortes Family Center or call 360-293-2993.
- Salvation Army
- Bags can be dropped off inside the lobby of their front office during business hours: Monday-Thursday, 9am-4pm (closed 12-1pm for lunch). They are located at 3001 R Ave. If you need assistance unloading your bag at TSA, they ask that you call ahead at (360) 293-6682.
- Current Food Shortages: Spaghetti sauce, pasta, jam/jelly, single-serve fruit cups, single-serve applesauce cups, mac & cheese, meals-in-a-can, soups, Ensure-type drinks, canned meats (except tuna). Also, while not essential, the food bank could use more bags of flour and sugar.The food bank still has plenty of the following, and does NOT NEED: canned tuna, peanut butter, diced tomatoes, canned veggies (overstocked on green beans and corn), beans of all types.
- Special Request: toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues, and disinfecting wipes/cleaners.
- A Simple Gesture or you can mail checks payable to A Simple Gesture-Anacortes, P.O. Box 1413, Anacortes, WA 98221. Due to the Anacortes Library closure the Red Bag Pantry has been moved to right outside the main entrance to the library. For those in need of food support you can reach out at 360-399-6463.
- Island Hospital COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Hospice Northwest
- Skagit Gleaners
- Skagit Community Foundation started a fund in conjunction with EDASC and United Way to accept donations that they will grant to nonprofits helping those in need due to this crisis.
- There’s a vital need for blood and plasma donors right now. Visit the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association to find a plasma donor center in your area There are Bloodworks Northwest facilities in Everett and Bellingham.
- Humane Society of Skagit Valley
- Donations of dog, cat, small animal feed can be left near the front door of the new building. If donors want a receipt they ask they leave a note with the donation and they will mail a receipt.
- Please ensure any donated food is for domestic household pets, and is not past its expiration date.
- Individuals who need dog, cat, or small animal feed should call the shelter at 360-757-0445 during business hours to arrange pick up or delivery of feed. Call 360-757-2568 if at the shelter and needing immediate assistance.
- Restaurants in Anacortes offering curbside delivery, delivery, and to-go orders curbside orders.
- Resource Assistance
- Puget Sound Energy COVID-19 Pandemic Assistance Fund. The Crisis-Affected Customer Assistance Program (CACAP) has been created for customers who have had their household income significantly reduced. You can apply for CACAP while funds are available. Learn more on at pse.com/covidhelp
- Community Conversation with State Legislators: COVID-19 Updates
- Community Action of Skagit County has created this COVID-19 Resource Page that explains how and where almost anyone who needs help can find it, including:
- Homeless families needing motel vouchers
- Pregnant women
- Anyone who needs food
- People who lost their jobs
- Veterans having a hard time
- Anyone with health issues
- Anyone who needs legal help
- Help for disabled adults
- Help for seniors
- Transportation help
- Energy bill payment help
- Tax filing and payment help
Governor expands the statewide eviction moratorium to June 4th
The Governor’s new proclamation extends and expands the original order through June 4th. Please see here online for additional details, which include prohibiting landlords from increasing rents or deposits for residential and some commercial units.
TVW Programming for Seniors
AARP and TVW have created a Q&A mini-series for seniors to answer questions about how to stay healthy and maintain connection with loved ones. New episodes will air Thursdays at 6 p.m.
2020 CENSUS + COVID-19
It’s time to complete the 2020 Census. With many of us staying indoors, let’s take 10 min. to shape the next 10 years. COVID-19 is a reminder of just how important it is to have a more accurate count of our communities—so that local, state, and federal governments know where resources are needed in urgent situations like these. It is your right to complete the census, because we’re here and we ALL count. Complete your census at my2020Census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020.
Read more about the Impact in Your Community
Childcare providers and community partners that are interested in organizing emergency childcare for medical professionals and other priority workforce groups around the state, should contact EmergencyCHildcare@dcyf.wa.gov or (509) 544-5712. (more details on Skagit COVID Childcare page)
Essential workers who need childcare should call the Child Care Aware Family Center at (800) 446-1114 or go to their website. Alternatively, essential workers can contact their school districts directly or the Skagit Valley YMCA.
Daily wifi hotspots in the Library and Depot parking lots are available from 7:00am – 10:00pm.
Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit xfinity.com/wifi or get more information on how to connect.