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Lakewood responds to Governor Jay Inslee’s order prohibiting large gatherings

March 11, 2020

Today Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation prohibiting large events in the state’s three largest counties to minimize public health risks around COVID-19.

The proclamation prohibits gatherings of more than 250 people in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. The order applies to gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational activities, including but not limited to community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and similar activities.

The city of Lakewood had one event that met this criteria: the Lakewood Youth Council’s Youth Empowerment Summit. The event was invite-only for Clover Park School District students and was scheduled during school hours on March 19.

In light of the governor’s orders, the event is postponed.

There are no other large city-sponsored events planned for March, and there are no plans to cancel city meetings at this time. City staff are in regular communication with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and continue to follow its guidelines around preventative measures.

On Monday the health department issued guidance that people 60 years and older, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women should take extra steps to distance themselves from other people and stay at home.

Health officials also stressed the importance of practicing social distancing, meaning people should try to stay six feet, or at least an arm’s length, from each other. And everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and stay home if they are sick to prevent the spread of disease.

The health and safety of our community remains a priority for the city of Lakewood. Extra steps are being taken to clean high-touch areas at the Lakewood police station, Lakewood City Hall and Lakewood Municipal Court.

The Lakewood Senior Activity Center will undergo a deep cleaning Thursday morning (March 12) and open late. Out of an abundance of caution for our older adult visitors to the center, staff are regularly cleaning high-touch areas in accordance with health department guidelines.

At this time the senior activity center will remain open unless public health officials instruct otherwise.

“As we continue to respond and alter our daily routines in light of COVID-19, I encourage Lakewood residents who are healthy and able, to think about how you can support our neighbors,” City Manager John Caulfield said.  

“Now is the time to come together as a community and help where we can, whether that’s by staying home if you’re sick and distancing yourself from others, or by volunteering at a local nonprofit, donating blood or making sure to support our local businesses and restaurants,” Caulfield continued. “I also encourage residents to follow the guidance of public health officials and get your information around Coronavirus from trusted sources.”

More information about COVID-19 is available at the health department’s dedicated website.