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Updates for March 31, 2020: COVID-19 Response Fund grants over $10 million to meet needs of most vulnerable

Summary

Public Health—Seattle & King County has assisted the Seattle Foundation and United Way of King County to identify areas of need for over $10 million in grants to community organizations working with vulnerable workers and families impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Because of technical difficulties with a statewide database, no updates of new cases or deaths are reported today.

Story

More than $10.1 million in grants will support vulnerable families and workers during COVID-19 crisis, through cross-sector partnership hosted by Seattle Foundation

A new fund is bringing needed support to vulnerable workers and families in the Puget Sound region who were affected first and hardest by the coronavirus crisis. Public Health—Seattle & King County is assisting Seattle Foundation and United Way of King County to identify where the need is greatest and where funds can have the biggest impact.

The COVID-19 Response Fund – hosted and administered by Seattle Foundation – has made over $10 million in grants to 128 community-based organizations, Seattle Foundation announced yesterday. Public Health's Pandemic Community Advisory Group, which consists of more than 40 local leaders and experts, helped identify grantees. The Advisory Group, Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, and a diverse set of Fund partners tapped into deep community knowledge to elevate nonprofits that aligned closely with the focus on emergency assistance within disproportionately impacted communities.

With the novel coronavirus, we know there are communities that are most negatively impacted — including people of color, immigrants and refugees, low-wage workers and older people — both in terms of the virus itself as well as the economic impact. With broad representation from many sectors, we were able to focus the funding where the needs are greatest and support our strong, resilient communities," said Matías Valenzuela, director of Equity and Social Justice for Public Health and a member of Public Health's Pandemic Community Advisory Group.

The Fund prioritized supporting low-income residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days, low-income workers in healthcare and the service industry, gig-economy workers, communities of color, people experiencing homelessness, as well as people with disabilities, greater health risks, limited English proficiency, and others.

The initial group of grantees includes Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Byrd Barr Place, Casa Latina, Chief Seattle Club, Eastside Refugee & Immigrant Coalition, Seattle Indian Health Board, White Center CDA, and many others. The full list of grantees can be found at www.seattlefoundation.org/COVIDGrants.

The COVID-19 Response Fund expects to make multiple rounds of grants as the pandemic unfolds. The Fund is supported by a broad coalition of 3,000+ online donors alongside more than 45 partners from philanthropy, business, and government, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the City of Seattle, Connie and Steve Ballmer, King County, Macklemore, Microsoft, Pivotal Ventures, and Seattle Seahawks. Individuals and organizations can donate and find additional information about the COVID-19 Response Fund via www.seattlefoundation.org/covid19.

Case updates

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is experiencing technical difficulties with their COVID-19 data, which is delaying the Public Health data report of new cases and deaths for 3/31/20. Public Health expects to update again on 4/1/20.

Important Note: The Public Health data dashboard (www.kingcounty.gov/covid/data) also will not be updated on 3/31/20, because of the DOH technical difficulties.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

Isolation and quarantine is a proven public health practice for reducing the spread of disease. Examples of people who may need this assistance include people who cannot safely isolate from a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Individuals can only be placed into the King County sites after a health professional with Public Health—Seattle & King County has determined that they need isolation or quarantine.

Twenty people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities.

The number of people at King County's isolation and quarantine sites will be included in regular updates provided by Public Health. No other identifying or personal information will be provided.