Corona-virus concerns and response

Corona-virus concerns and response

March 12, 2020 Off By Gabriel Toma

We are receiving questions about the status of upcoming events in connection with COVID-19. As of today, all planned events for the Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce will carry on as scheduled. We are taking all the necessary steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. The Chamber is committed to the health and well being of our members and the community. We will continue to closely monitor developments related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Below are resources and information which we hope will be helpful to businesses and employees navigating this public health situation. As you probably know by now Thurston County had announced the first case of Corona Virus yesterday.

 We sought guidance from our community partners such as Thurston County Public Health and AWB. Below is information we have learned about COVID-19 and preventative steps.

About Coronavirus:

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

You can take steps to prevent the spread of a range of diseases like COVID-19 by doing the following things:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If this is not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Certainly the virus is having a serious impact on Washington’s employers, schools, public events, and places. Last week, the federal government passed an emergency funding supplemental to support COVID-19 with House Bill 6074. The $8.3 billion funding package includes $950 million for state and local agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing, and mitigation. 

The legislation also includes a provision that allows $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, including shellfish growers, trade-dependent manufacturers, and other that have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This funding could enable the Small Business Administration to provide an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans, to help cushion the blow of this public health emergency. The legislation directs Small Business Disaster Loans to be made available to help small business, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture producers, and non-profit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the outbreak. The Chamber will distribute additional information as it becomes available.

Here are some great resources available to citizens and business professionals of Thurston County:

In addition, the Thurston Economic Development Council is putting up a page on their website tomorrow that will provide a list of resources, assistance, and information for businesses that can be shared. 

To prevent fear and panic, we encourage you to check the following sites for accurate information: Centers for Disease ControlWorld Health Organization, and Washington State Department of Health. If you have questions that cannot be answered there, call the DOH Corona Virus Hotline at (800) 525-0127 and press #.