Logistics or “The New Normal” of SARS-CoV-2

What to do, what not to do, what various levels of government are instructing us to do, and what you shouldn’t do just because you see other people doing it…


Governor Inslee’s Emergency Proclamation

Mandatory and immediate 2-week closure of all:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Recreational facilities

Restaurants can still provide:

  • ✓ Takeout
  • ✓ Delivery

Dental Offices

  • All elective procedures are to be put on hold.
  • Offices should still see patients for dental emergencies or urgent dental care.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has called upon dentists to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by postponing elective procedures for the next three weeks. For the ADA’s guidelines on what constitutes a dental emergency, please refer to this document.

Groceries/Household Supplies

Grocery stores and pharmacies are still open and there is no need to hoard supplies. Seattle’s supply chain is strong according to governor Inslee[edit: This was confirmed 3/19/20 by Greg Ferrara, President of the National Grocers Association], so please, be considerate of your neighbors and community and do not contribute to shortages – buy what you need right now.

Vulnerable Population(s) – Modified Shopping Hours

QFCSeniors (60+)
And other at-risk customers, as defined by the CDC
7 – 8 a.m.
Pregnant women
Individuals with compromised immune systems
Tuesdays & Thursdays 
7 – 9 a.m.
Stop & ShopSeniors (60+)
Individuals with compromised immune systems
6 – 7:30 a.m.
Individuals with compromised immune systems
First hour of each wednesday (check local store hours here)
UwajimayaSeniors8 – 9 a.m.
WalmartSeniors (60+)1 hour before store opens, typically 6 a.n. – 7 a.m.
(check local store hours here)
Every Tuesday from March 24 to April 28
Whole FoodsSeniors (60+)1 hour before store opens to public (check local store hours here)

Social Distancing/Events

Health Officer Order (Dr. Jeff Duchin, Department of Public Health – Seattle & King County)

  • All events with > 50 people are prohibited until further notice
  • All events with < 50 people are discouraged and prohibited unless organizers observe COVID-19 prevention measure requirements.
  • All bars, dance clubs, fitness and health clubs, movie theaters, nightclubs, and other social and recreational establishments shall be closed until at least March 31.
  • All other retail – including banks, grocery stores, hardware stores and pharmacies – should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.
  • For more info, head here.

From the White House

President Trump recommended avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and also urged Americans to avoid eating and drinking at bars and restaurants.



Uber and Lyft have suspended shared/pool rides.

Buses and Lightrail

In order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, until further notice, fare enforcement inspectors will not ask for proof of payment on board Link light rail or Sounder trains.

Buses and the Lightrail are increasing efforts to sanitize and keep cars/buses clean.

Utilities (Gas, Electricity, Water)

Residential Evictions in Seattle have been Halted During this Outbreak

Residential evictions for non-payment of rent have been temporarily halted. For more information, you can access this FAQ.

Utilities will not be Shut Off

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) , Seattle City Light (SCL), and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will keep utility services on during the COVID-19 Civil Emergency in Seattle. 

  • SPU and SCL customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, regardless of background or immigration status, can request a deferred payment plan that includes reversed late fees.
  • SPU and SCL recommends that customers should as soon as possible call (206) 684-3000 or send an email anytime at seattle.gov/utilities/about-us/email-question.
  • PSE is waiving late fees for customers. You can find more information at PSE’s COVID-19 Response page.

CIty of Seattle Utility Discount Program (UDP)

The Utility Discount Program (UDP) lowers Seattle City Light bills by 60 percent and Seattle Public Utility bills by 50 percent. To learn more about enrollment in UDP, call (206) 684-0268 or go to: seattle.gov/humanservices/services-and-programs/affordability-and-livability/utility-discount-program.

Out of Work Employees/Artists

COVID-19 & Freelance Artists

From the site: “This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.” Visit covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com to see the full list of regularly updated resources.

COVID-19 LGBTQI+ BIPOC Mutual Aid Fund

This online fundraiser is to specifically support “queer, transgender, non-binary and/or intersex Black, Indigenous folks and other LGBTQI+ people of color (QTIBIPOC folks).” To donate to the fund, go here: gofundme.com/f/covid19-relief-fund-for-lgbtqi-bipoc-folks. To apply for funding, visit: surveymonkey.com/r/QTIBIPOCCOVID19.

Financial Support for Seattle Artists Impacted by COVID-19

Seattle-based author and artist Ijeoma Oluo and others have organized this fundraiser on behalf of Artists Relief Fund. From the website: “This fund is aimed at helping those in the greater Seattle arts community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists – but we will try to help as many artists with need in Seattle as we can.” To donate to the fund, go here: gofundme.com/f/for-artists. To apply for funding, visit: surveymonkey.com/r/LHJNLQV.

Seattle Restaurant Workers Coronavirus Rent Fund

Currently, the Seattle Restaurant Workers Coronavirus Rent Fund is accepting donations to support restaurant workers in Seattle who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The hospitality industry nonprofit Big Table will be disbursing funds soon. To donate to the fund, go here: gofundme.com/f/seattle-restaurant-workers-coronavirus-rent-fund.

Paid Sick and Safe Time

Both Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance and Washington Initiative 1433 establish local and statewide paid sick leave for hourly employees working in Washington state. In Seattle, the law requires employers to provide all employees with paid sick and safe time. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, exempt, and non-exempt employees. Please call the Seattle Office of Labor Standards at (206) 256-5297 or visit Office of Labor Standards PSST page here.

State Unemployment Benefits for Workers

The Washington State Employment Security Department has programs designed to help individuals and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They have an easy-to-read comparison guide listing some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. More information for workers and businesses here: esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19.

Washington Small Business Development Center Business Resiliency Toolkit

The Business Resiliency Guide is a tool to help small business owners assess risks and make contingency plans that will enable businesses to recover from the immediate threat of COVID-19 as well as the disruptions that could continue over weeks or months. You can download the business resiliency guide and supporting materials here: wsbdc.org/protect-your-business/business-resiliency/.

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture has developed this additional resource list for artists and arts organizations impacted by COVID-19: Resources for Artists and Organizations Amid COVID-19.

Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED)

OED has updated their pages to include COVID-19 information for both businesses and workers: COVID-19 Business and Worker Resources

Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS)

OLS has compiled a comprehensive list of resources and FAQs for both workers and employers affected by COVID-19: seattle.gov/laborstandards.

Small Business/Non-Profit Help

City of Seattle B&O Tax Deferment Information

Effective immediately, the City of Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will defer business and occupation (B&O) tax collections for businesses that have annual taxable incomes of $5 million or less and that pay city taxes quarterly. This will allow small business owners increased flexibility during a period of financial duress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have questions, please call (206) 684-8484 or email: tax@seattle.gov.

City of Seattle Small Business Stabilization Fund

Approximately $2.5 million is available for the City of Seattle Small Business Stabilization Fund, an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. Eligibility criteria and how to apply is here: seattle.gov/office-of-economic-development/small-business/small-business-programs-/stabilization-fund-

Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus. You can find more information about how to manage your mortgage, rent, and personal finances at their website: dfi.wa.gov/coronavirus-financial-resources

Financial Support for Non-Profit Organizations Impacted by COVID-19

Hosted by Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. To donate to the fund, go here: seattlefoundation.org/communityimpact/civic-leadership/covid-19-response-fund.

Resources for Unemployed Workers from United Way of King County

The United Way of King County has put together a list of resources for workers who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This list includes links to unemployment benefits, health insurance, and other free and reduced programs in and around King County. Go to the United Way of King County’s page for more information.

State Benefits for Employers

The Washington State Employment Security Department has programs designed to help individuals and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They have an easy-to-read comparison guide listing some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. More information for workers and businesses here: esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19.

Seattle Office of Labor Standards

More information about City of Seattle support for workers and employers can be found here.

Small Business Adminstration Economic Injury Disaster Loans

In addition, small businesses in Seattle and King County are now eligible to apply for up to $2 million in low‑interest Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With currently $1 billion in loan subsidies available from the federal government, the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED) will be offering technical assistance and launching resources to help small businesses apply for SBA loans.

Eligible small businesses can receive loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the impact of COVID-19. Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of COVID-19 are eligible to apply.

Applicants for the federal SBA may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Have general questions? Comments?

Email asktheoptimisticscientist@gmail.com or comment below!


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