Elected officials' statement on COVID-19
Dear residents of Chelan and Douglas counties,
We know that this is a very challenging time for all of us as we face the challenges of combating the coronavirus in our region. Simply put, these are unprecedented times. We applaud our health care workers who are on the front lines. We find inspiration in the stories of kindness, compassion and support occurring across the region, including community initiatives that have popped up organically over the past few days.
Please know your local governments agencies, health care facilities, nonprofits and others are unified and are working very hard — 24/7 — to safeguard and assist residents and communities. The health and well-being of our residents is paramount. For example, the two counties have partnered to land a $884,000 grant from the state to house COVID-19 positive patients who do not require hospitalization. This regional approach will not only help vulnerable members of our community, but also those who might be displaced in the future due to required isolation from a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.
We also need your help.
Our health care leaders at Confluence Health and Columbia Valley Community Health say the next week is especially crucial in stemming the spread of the coronavirus in the region. If the spread is not stemmed over the next week or so, and there is a sudden surge in cases in the days ahead, they are very concerned our local hospitals will be overwhelmed and unable to care for all those inflicted. This is a situation that requires an area-wide partnership in order protect a valued and critical segment of our community.
We ask every resident, no matter what age, to stay inside their homes as much as possible for the next week. Not doing so could jeopardize the health and safety of our residents and communities. This is not to say you can’t go buy groceries if you need food or go outside for some fresh air. But practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from others in the check-out line or on the trail or in the park. Several people touching the same basketball, for example, heightens the risk of spreading the virus. Wash your hands frequently. Try not to touch your face.
We ask you to visit the Chelan-Douglas Health District and Centers for Disease Control websites, along with local media organizations, for the most current information. We are working to create specific avenues for people to access accurate information in both English and Spanish in the region. Already, local media organizations are in the process of forming a working group among themselves to streamline communication efforts.
We are all in this together. We will continue to move forward during these trying times, just as the region has done countless times in the past when faced with adversity. In this community, we have always rallied. Please be safe and join us in taking the necessary steps to minimize the spread of this virus.
Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz
East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford
Chelan County Commissioner Doug England
Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay
Chelan County Commissioner Bob Bugert
Douglas County Commissioner Marc Straub
Douglas County Commissioner Dan SuttonDouglas County Commissioner Kyle Steinburg