Bellingham City Council to conduct only essential business at meetings

City Council taking steps to protect public, employees

Mar 12, 2020 - by Monea Kerr, Legislative Assistant

With the first positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Whatcom County and recommendations regarding meetings by the Whatcom County Health Department, the Bellingham City Council is taking precautionary measures and conducting only essential business at meetings.

The City of Bellingham is committed to protecting public safety while providing continuity of government services. The Bellingham City Council will continue meeting as scheduled but will only conduct essential City business at their meetings. Presentations and non-essential items have been postponed through the end of April. The Council will re-evaluate at the end of March to see if this timeline should be extended.

The Council has postponed the public hearings originally scheduled for March 23, including consideration of an ordinance to reduce single-use plastic waste and a relinquishment of easement for the area commonly known as 2620 “G” Street, Bellingham, Washington. Additionally, the Council is eliminating the 15-minute public comment period at their regular meetings until further notice. Community members are encouraged to provide general public comment or public input for either of the above-mentioned items by sending comments to the Bellingham City Council Office, 210 Lottie Street Bellingham, WA 98225, by email to ccmail@cob.org​, or by fax to (360) 778-8101.

“We are committed to keeping our residents, Council and staff safe,” Council President Gene Knutson said. “Public Safety is our number one priority and the City is taking this pandemic very seriously. We will do our part to protect our community. We hope these measures will be temporary and we can return to a normal meeting schedule soon.”  

The Council encourages the public to continue to engage with their Councilmembers, who will continue to serve the needs of their ward and community. The public is invited to watch Council meetings remotely. Council meetings are broadcast live through the City​ website at meetings.cob.org​, on the City’s YouTube channel​, or on BTV: Comcast channels 321 (HD) and 10 (SD) and on Century Link channels 1040 (HD) and 40 (SD).

​​Take actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Mayor Seth Fleetwood is advising the public to follow the Whatcom County Health Department’s recommendations as the lead agency for the COVID-19 response in our county. These actions include:
  • ​Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay away from other people who are sick. 
  • If you are sick, stay home to prevent spreading the infection to others.
  • Don’t go to emergency rooms or urgent care clinics if your illness is mild and can be managed at home.
  • Even if you are feeling well, avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities or nursing homes.
  • People who are sick with a cough or fever should not attend work until 72 hours after the fever has resolved or seven days after the illness began, whichever is longer. ​

​Resources

The Whatcom County Health Department is the lead agency in Whatcom County on the COVID-19 response. For information updated daily, visit www.whatcomcount​y.us/covid​.


The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has established a call center to answer questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington State, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, call the DOH hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.​


Media Contact

Monea Kerr
City Council Office
(360) 778-8202
mjkerr@cob.org​​


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