Snoqualmie Valley mayors jointly ask governor to reopen their rural small cities before rest of King County

On Friday, May 29th, the Mayors of Carnation, Duvall, North Bend and Snoqualmie sent a joint letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee requesting the small, rural Snoqualmie Valley cities be allowed to immediately move to phase 2 of the State’s 4-stage Safe Start reopening plan.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert made the same request for Fall City. The SnoValley Chamber of Commerce also requested the same of the governor and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

In part, the mayors’ letter said:

Our cities have seen infection rates far lower than big cities in the King County and we feel strongly that many of our small businesses can – and should – be able to open today, in advance of the remainder of King County.

In many ways, our small cities are very similar to the small counties that have already been able to open for Phase II. We respectfully and strongly request that the Snoqualmie Valley be evaluated and restrictions loosened separate from King County as a whole.

We have all been meeting with our small businesses, and know without a shadow of a doubt that the overwhelming majority can re-open safely, today, taking all recommended precautions, and many going even further.

The four Snoqualmie Valley cities and their unincorporated areas, along with the town of Fall City, have a combined population of approximately 56,000, with 83 COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths since the outbreak began. Only 4 of those cases were reported in May: 3 in Snoqualmie and one in North Bend.

On Friday, King County Executive Dow Constantine also announced they would request state approval to enter a modified phase 1 (‘phase 1.5’), allowing for some phase 2 businesses and activities to start at reduced capacities. King County has not yet met key criteria to enter Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan, citing unstable virus case counts.

The state is expected to release applications for modified re-opening requests this weekend. King County anticipates submitting its application early next week (June 1st week). According to a source with knowledge of the variance process, the state has typically been approving county variance requests within 24-72 hours.

The Snoqualmie Valley mayors are requesting to move to phase 2 if King County Phase 1 restrictions remain in place.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said, “In lieu of that, I’d take a modified phase 2 over no change.”

At time of publishing, Larson said the coalition of mayors had not received a response from the governor.

Snoqualmie Valley Photo:Instagram fotosbykms

Comments

  1. Julie Lake says

    In his recent “State of the Cities” presentation, Mayor Larson noted that there were 3 new cases of COVID-19 in Snoqualmie in the past few days. Since the current total is 26, I believe that would be a 13% increase in the past few days, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    • The 13% increase is when comparing the accumulative totals between April 30 and May 31st. That would be a fair comparison if this were a chronic illness or if all the accumulative cases were still active on both of those dates.

      For the sake of argument, assuming active cases last two weeks on average, 2 cases arrived in the latter half of May and are still active today, and 11 of the of 23 accumulative cases in April were still active as of April 30th (using a rounded 50% assuming 12 cases arrived before the peak cases in mid-April and 11 came after).

      Comparing estimated active cases puts us at a 72% month-to-month decrease. Moreover, assuming there was on average 2 and at most 3 active cases through the latter half of May, this extrapolates to 14-22 cases per 100,000 residents, which is below the targeted rate for Phase 2.

      • Julie Lake says

        I guess you don’t work in a shop or a restaurant in the part of town that draws tourists. Snoqualmie is currently at 190 cases per 100,000.

        • Recovered cases are irrelevant here. A population with 100,000 recovered cases per 100,000 would be, by definition, immune.

          Innumeracy is a dangerous disease!

        • The 190 case rate is also accumulative and not active cases.

  2. monte aspevig says

    I’m so sorry to hear this. As cases continue to go up, our government is sending out the message that we don’t need to stay home any longer. I’ve watched parks and (closed) trails filling up with people who aren’t wearing masks or practicing any sort of social distancing. So, yes, we clearly don’t have enough cases in our small towns compared to the rest of King County, so let’s open everything up and watch the people from Seattle flood into the valley bringing COVID-19 with them.

    • Jake Barrenchea says

      If you dont feel safe I’m assuming your a grown adult and can make the decision to shelter in place as long as you feel prudent. The rest of your peers are like wise able to make their own decisions if they want to go out and live. Freedom is an amazing thing.

  3. J. Coughran says

    Off topic: Can you connect me with the photographer of that gorgeous photo?

  4. The trouble is; too many people from the city still at phase 1 will flock to rural towns.

  5. David Mc Cabe says

    Actually, the risk of catching covid outdoors is pretty microscopic. the virus is not known to survive well once it settles on nettles, gravel/dirt parking lots, or fir and cedar trees. Sunlight, breezes, big outdoors mitigate much of the hysteria reminding all of us that Covid 19 is not Ebola. People are capable of understanding risk and can make their own decisions accordingly. No business should’ve been forced to closed.

    • Approximately 1/3 of all cases are asymptomatic. True death rate is around 0.2%, and that’s heavily weighted on the elderly. Antibody testing blew the whole narrative in April, but doesn’t get much press because of exactly what it proves. Oregon even actively suppressed its antibody testing results. And notice how COVID has all but disappeared from the news now that something else has given the press and the government the opportunity to move on to the next “crisis?”

      The COVID hoax started as a power grab, and turned into a face saving exercise. Government is just too terrified of the consequences of admitting they were wrong and the whole thing was an overblown sham. But keep putting on your muzzle at Home Depot and Costco if it makes you feel better, sheeple.

  6. I have worked every day of the crisis in sodo navigating a team of 75 employees in retail and services. One of our businesses hit a low of 50% revenue to 2019 the other dipped by only 10%. We split the group and sent 3/4 office staff to work home while we had over 40 mobile technicians working in the community from Pierce to Snohomish counties. We provided PPE and instructed staff on how/where to use it and disinfect our facilities daily. No one has been sick or confirmed sick except one employee that was placed on a 14 day quarantine in late Feb early March. My opinion is protocols when followed are adequate measures, timing with more outdoor activities will help, and if you recall “shelter in place” was introduced to stop our health care system from being overwhelmed. We have to understand that immunity must build in the population slowly over time or a vaccine/therapeutics that work will need to be introduced for our economy to recover. BTW we are likely going to see more economic carnage when/if the Fed slows stimulus and even then long term impact could see many more lives, especially those in lowest income brackets/unskilled etc. In dire straights.

  7. PRT Brown says

    Let us open and be free to choose for ourselves to go out or stay home.

    Lot’s of things in life contain risks, most of the most fun activities come with a risk. However, forcing businesses to stay closed is not a risk, it is a certain death sentence.

    Let people choose.

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