Inslee announces two-week pause on phases (updated 5/6/2021)
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a two-week pause on movement in the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. Under the pause, every county will remain in its current phase. At the end of two weeks, each county will be re-evaluated.
The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Health, and reflects current data suggesting Washington’s fourth wave has hit a plateau.
“We are at the intersection of progress and failure, and we cannot veer from the path of progress,” Inslee said Tuesday. “Our economy is beginning to show early signs of growth thanks to some of our great legislative victories and we know vaccines are the ticket to further reopening — if we adhere to public health until enough people are vaccinated.”
For the past several weeks, epidemiologists have been following the state’s fourth COVID-19 wave, which now appears to be leveling out. The fourth wave has been less severe and case counts and mortalities have not been tied in rates of increase as they have in the past.
The changes in data throughout the fourth wave have been attributed to increasing vaccination rates, shortening hospital stays and lessening the severity of the illness. The state’s early vaccine prioritization has also been tied to improved data and decreasing mortality rates in the state’s most vulnerable populations.
Vaccines are now available to all Washingtonians 16 and up. To find an appointment, visit VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.
Source: Office of the Governor 5.4.2021
Benton PUD has launched a COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program
• Qualified past due customers who certify they have been impacted by COVID-19 will receive a one-time bill credit for their past due bill amount as of April 30, 2021, up to $200. Past due is defined as 30 days in arrears.
• Qualified low-income customers that are not past due, who certify they have been financially impacted by COVID-19 will receive a one-time bill credit of $200.
• To help customers pay down higher past due balances, Benton PUD will also match payments made by qualified past due customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The payment match is available for up to half of the April 30, 2021 past due amount, after the initial bill credit is applied. Payments made between May 1, 2021 and July 31, 2021 are eligible for this match.
• The program will end on July 31, 2021.
Find more info and fill out the online application at the Benton PUD site.
City Response to COVID-19
- Rent and Utilities Assistance
- Utilities Assistance
- Microenterprise and Small Business Emergency Grants
- CARES Act Community Grant Support Program
- Temporary Restaurant/Retail Outdoor Expansion
- City Offices Temporarily Closed
- Submit Safe Start Inquiries
- Report a Safe Start Violation
- Modified City Council Meetings: City Council will defer non-essential legislative items and condense essential legislative items into a modified schedule.
- Commission and Committee Meetings: All meetings will be deferred until the conclusion of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order unless otherwise noted on the City calendar.
- Determining Occupancy Load when reopening your business.
Health & Safety Information
- Washington’s "Safe Start" Plan
- Washington State Adopting New CDC's Quarantine Guidelines
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Washington State Coronavirus Response
- Washington State Department of Health
- Benton-Franklin Health District
- 2-1-1 COVID Information Call Line
Kennewick is Open for Business
During this time of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, our regional partners are have collaborated to connect local businesses with our community. Check out businesses that have registered as open.
The Stay Home, Stay Healthy order requiring social distancing measures will help slow the spread of COVID-19, but they will create a hardship for some citizens.
To help residents, the City has suspended water shut-offs for non-payment of City utility bills. We are continuing to bill utility accounts on the regular two-month billing cycle and statements are due 15 days from the billing date. Late notices are being issued for accounts two weeks past due, which includes a $10 late fee when notices are processed. Payment options include our automated phone system, website, and drop box located in the east parking lot of City Hall.
By contacting the City prior to an account going past due, the late notice would not issue and $10 late fee would not be assessed.
Below is a list of additional resources:
- Washington State Department of Financial Institutions - guide for families who need financial assistance
- Washington State Employment Security Department – information regarding employment assistance
- Benton County Emergency Housing Program - funds available for eviction prevention for persons that have faced difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.