As Kitsap County mobilizes and shifts part of its COVID-19 response to supporting the distribution of a long-awaited vaccine, we feel a renewed sense of hope that the virus will be under control in 2021. But even with vaccinations underway for first responders, health care providers and our vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities, COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Kitsap. Since the beginning of December, over 3,000 new local cases were reported. That number grew from 2,000 in just 23 days. The virus also contributed to the death of 31 of our community members and their loss is felt deeply.
So much has changed in our daily lives – how we work, play, learn, socialize – since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kitsap March 8. There are many shared experiences the last 10 months in staying home, balancing teleworking with schooling children, missing or postponing milestone celebrations in person, struggling with fears and uncertainty, unemployment and loss of business revenue. It’s been more challenging than we could have imagined last spring, but Kitsap’s resilience is stronger than ever and provides a beacon of light through these dark times.
Even with physical distancing and separation, people are supporting each other with extraordinary effort and actions. As 2020 comes to an end, we continue to focus on overcoming the impacts of this pandemic. Nothing is more important than ensuring the health and safety of our communities, workforce and businesses. We ask for your continued compassion, patience and vigilance in continuing to practice safety precautions through the coming months as COVID-19 is brought under control so we can all get back to doing what we want to do.
Last week, Kitsap County Commissioners passed a resolution summarizing local allocations of millions in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding we received through Nov. 30 to assist in responding to the pandemic’s impacts on individuals, businesses and schools.
Commissioners directed expenditures of CARES funds to support additional staffing in the Kitsap Public Health District and Emergency Operations Center, county operations and personnel related to COVID response, public outreach and education, and the purchase of equipment and other supplies necessary for the public health response. We also allocated $1.84 million to assist small businesses, non-profit organizations and local chambers of commerce; $1.7 million to schools and student assistance for distance learning, related technology, food and facility improvements; $136,000 to food banks; $750,000 for mortgage and rental relief for low-income residents; and nearly $2 million to provide shelter for those living without homes and others who need a safe place to quarantine and isolate when at risk of spreading the virus in their households.
CARES funds also support the coordination of community COVID test sites, distribution of tens of thousands of units of personal protection equipment to doctors and dentist offices, clinics and businesses, a warehouse to store these vital supplies and now assistance in the mobilization for COVID vaccinations.
COVID-19 continues to significantly press upon the public’s health, emotions and our local economy. We are hopeful additional funds will soon be available through the state and federal governments to ensure the well-being of residents, keep our businesses open and the economy strong
We extend gratitude to everyone who has joined in the fight against COVID-19: frontline healthcare workers, health district and county staff, community partners and hundreds of volunteers. Our appreciation extends to everyone doing their part to respond to this unprecedented health crisis. Thank you! You make us prouder than ever to call Kitsap home.
Your outpouring of support and care for each other, endurance, safe practices and acts of generosity and kindness help strengthen the resilience in us all. Stay strong - we’ll get through this together!
Kitsap County CommissionersCharlotte Garrido, ChairRob GelderEd Wolfe
For all current items Click Here
For previously posted items Click Here