We have all impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or the other in the past several weeks. Whether you’re a restaurant worker, a first responder, grocery worker, or have school-aged children, the world has seemingly been turned on its head. Many are confused and worried about the health of the community and the impacts on our families. Despite this uncertainty, our community has adapted. We have chosen to stay at home to save lives. These are stressful times for everyone, but we will get through this together.
For the City, we have had to make some tough choices including canceling and postponing events and closing our facilities to public access. In making these choices, we are relying on the expertise and guidance of local, state, and federal health authorities and are prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our community.
Please keep these items in mind during this month:
1. Support our local businesses. Livelihoods are at stake, and the decision to close bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery has shaken their foundations. Thank you to those that have been offering support — whether by ordering take out, purchasing a gift card, or other means. City council agreed to set aside $250,000 for an Economic Stabilization Fund to provide grant funds to eligible businesses. On Apr. 13, fifty-four grants were awarded and we hope this will help mediate some of the more profound impacts on our business community.
2. Practice good hygiene and follow the Governor’s recommendations for social distancing. Please stay at home, if possible. If you do need to leave home, please remember to wash your hands and cover your coughs! We have to slow the transmission of COVID-19 to preserve hospital capacity. That’s why social distancing is so important.
3. Check-in with your neighbors and those that are vulnerable. The coronavirus appears most deadly in older people and those with underlying medical conditions. Make sure they have plenty of food and medical supplies on hand. In order to protect the health and safety of Tualatin families, we must work together and support each other.
4. Be kind. In times of increased uncertainty, fear can sometimes overtake facts. Hate speech and discrimination have no place in Tualatin. Please join us in continuing to uphold our commitment to treating every individual in our community with respect, kindness and humanity.
5. Assist health care professionals and first responders. They need to be healthy so they can do their jobs — which are challenging now and promise to be even more so in the future. Please do anything you can to assist a friend or neighbor who is a health professional or first responder: bring them a meal or walk their dog, for example.
6. Eviction Moratorium Order. On Apr. 1 I declared a temporary moratorium on all residential and commercial evictions in Tualatin, effective Apr. 2. I want to make sure residents do not become homeless during this crisis and prevent further economic damage to our community if businesses close permanently. Governor Kate Brown issued a similar statewide executive order later that day. My order remains in effect for six months after the expiration of the city’s state of emergency. The city council has ratified my order in Resolution 5489-20.
7. Complete your 2020 Census. Please take the time to complete the census as we need a complete count in Tualatin to ensure we get the proper federal funding for hospitals, schools, roads and other resources in our city.
Tualatin residents have proven their strength when times were tough in the past, and I have every faith that we will continue to help each other during the weeks and months ahead.