Mayor Jim Ferrell activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center this week as the city continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and among city staff members.
The center was activated at a level of monitoring, which means Emergency Manager Ray Gross maintains constant communications and collaboration with the city’s community partners: South King Fire and Rescue, Federal Way Public Schools and Lakehaven Water and Sewer District.
During Monday’s weekly Outbreak Advisory Team meeting led by the mayor, department directors participated via phone from either their office in City Hall or from home. Directors also reported that several employees across a variety of departments were taking advantage of the opportunity to work from home.
The Community Development Department also announced that beginning March 18, the Permit Center closed its doors for in-person business but will continue to serve customers electronically. Additional staff will be available to handle phone calls, emails, and electronic submittals. City staff are still providing inspections and code enforcement services. Although the doors will be closed, the Permit Center will remain open for business.
As for businesses affected by COVID-19, the SBA also recently announced low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Washington state small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus.
“I’m really proud of all the hard work City staff and the City Council are putting in to provide for the health and safety of this community,” Ferrell stated in an online newsletter. “We will continue to do what it takes in order to get through this challenging time.”