Statement from Mayor Cheryl Selby

Dear Olympia Community,
As I write this, breaking news on the COVID-19 virus scrolls across our TV screens and lights up our phones. While a public health emergency unfolds in our community, I want to assure you, the Olympia City Council and City employees are putting “all hands-on deck” in our response.
To avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus, I encourage all Olympians to follow CDC guidelines and comply with best practices that our State and County health departments have put in place.
In addition, at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, March 17, the City Council will convene to consider an emergency ordinance (the meeting will air on Thurston Community Media channel 3 and streamed online.) This ordinance will allow us to respond more nimbly and strategically to help those that need it most over the coming weeks.
The City of Olympia is responding to the immediate needs but also thinking about long term recovery. There will be instances in our response where it’s better for the government to steer, not row. Cities can be powerful facilitators with the ability to link public, private, not-for-profit and faith organizations to each other and that’s what we plan to do. This is not a time to panic but rather to be strategic and leave self-interest at the door. Fear will only make this virus more powerful and longer lasting.
We don’t know where the bottom is yet in this crisis. What we do know is that we’re our best when we pull in the same direction. I’m asking you to be part of our emergency response team by putting the collective “we” before the me. Check on your neighbors, buy only what you need for a few days, share your extra supplies and please keep updated regularly with information through our city website.
We’re better together,
Cheryl Selby
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