WVCC and Confluence Health Thank Local Businesses; Call on Community for Help
The Business Community in North Central Washington has worked hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as protectors, not infectors. Our local businesses provided masks to their employees and customers; they changed their business models to serve customers online, at the curb, with take-out and delivery; they rearranged floorplans to create more space for people to be physically distanced; they provided employees sick time and work from home flexibility to allow people to stay as healthy and safe as possible. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the business community commits to continue protecting the health and safety of its employees and customers.
Businesses have done their best to provide a structured and safe space for our community to go where masking and physical distancing is creatively encouraged, and when necessary enforced. Those structured activities are exactly what our community needs as we move indoors for the winter. “Now instead of going to our local museum to take in the latest exhibit, the movie theater for a show, or a local fitness center for a workout where safety guidelines of masking, social distancing, and disinfecting are mandated, people will choose to gather in their homes where these guidelines are not being followed,” said Shiloh Burgess, Executive Director of the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.
COVID-19 is spreading, but not necessarily because of our region’s businesses and employers. The engagement and effort of our region’s compliant businesses is helping. Their diligent sacrifice is paying off. Accordingly, The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce (WVCC) believes there must be a “second” look and careful scrutiny of the curtailments announced this weekend. That scrutiny should include public health, business and elected officials from across the state.
Putting thousands of people out of work at this time of the year is not the way to gain public acceptance and support to control the spread of COVID -19. The process must be changed.
COVID-19 is posing a critical threat to our community, our cases are doubling weekly and our hospital capacity is about to be tested. The hospital ICU capacity is currently 18 beds. Of those 18 beds, 8-12 are typically utilized for non COVID patients and 2-3 are treating COVID positives. A dedicated COVID unit (non-ICU) has been stood up to add an additional 12 beds without curtailing other necessary but non urgent/emergent care. Currently, 8 out of the 12 are in use. “Cases are currently spreading dramatically, and it appears that many of the cases are the result of in-home social gatherings without continuous masking and maintaining social distancing. The difference between controlling the amount of disease in this region is up to all of us,” said Dr. Peter Rutherford, CEO of Confluence Health.
The WVCC and Confluence Health strongly encourage all business owners, employees and community members at large to be COVID conscious and safe in public, at work and most importantly at home. This means wearing a mask when you’re in public or with anyone outside of your household , wash your hands frequently, stay 6-feet away from others and do not gather with more than five people outside of your home. If you do need to be with people outside of your home, please wear a mask the entire time you are with them. Please do your part to protect our community and get our businesses back open.