City Manager’s Report for
week ending Oct. 2, 2020

City of Normandy Park Still in Phase 2.  By city code and State statute, the City Manager is the emergency management authority for the city and the Chief of Police is in charge of day-to-day emergency operations management during this Washington State COVID-19 emergency. The City Council has approved an emergency proclamation to match the Governor’s emergency proclamation, both of which apply. Washington State’s COVID-19 emergency is still in effect and we are still in Phase 2 under the Governor’s Proclamation of Emergency.

Park Restrooms. An early recovery goal is to re-open park restrooms to assist individual, socially distanced, outdoor exercise.  The most likely restrooms for re-opening are fixed-site restrooms at Marvista Park and City Hall Park. To date, we have not figured out a feasible way to do this, but we are working on it.

OPMA Exemption Extended. The Open Public Meetings Act exemptions that allow virtual meetings without an in-person option have been extended to November 11. At the State level, permanent provisions for such meetings are being considered in ways that preserve public access, comment and notice.=

Recreation Center Closed During Phase 2 and 3.  No one likes being in the gym more than me. I’m a former high school varsity boys basketball coach. Nevertheless, we have to cope with the following limits.

The Washington State COVID-19 Phase 2 rules have been modified for indoor recreation:

  • Recreation, sports and fitness: Outdoor recreation involving five or fewer people outside your household, camping (where open), beaches (where open). Indoor fitness and training facilities must provide 300 [square] feet of distance between visitors. For large facilities (>12,000 sq ft), occupancy is limited to 25%. Certain indoor sports practice and training is allowed, but limited to no more than 5 athletes, and spectators are not allowed. Practice and competition for low contact sports, such as tennis, volleyball and league-play bowling, are allowed but participants are limited to no more than five per court and spectators are not allowed. Museums allowed at 25% capacity.

The above-modified rules necessitate paid full-time staff supervision and other requirements. Like other indoor municipal self-monitored operations, the City of Normandy Park will not be re-opening the Recreation Center and gym due to emergency proclamation, insurance and staffing reasons until Phase 4, which seems like a long ways off. Normandy Park’s Recreation Center and gym remain closed during Phase 2.  Pickleball and all other recreation center and gym activities are unavailable without exception at this time. Note that competitive activities, like pickleball, as stated in the State emergency proclamation modifications, are not referenced as re-opening options anywhere until Phase 3. Staffing issues will still be a problem for Normandy Park in Phase 3 because our employee base does not have the capacity to supervise this facility and to clean it at the frequency required without abandoning public works essential functions.

The City of Normandy Park will review the parks re-opening policy once in Phase 3; State guidelines change over time and merit periodic review.  Recreation Center and gym users might look for staffed recreation facilities as early options to resume limited, legal, safe, indoor recreation activity.

Now is the time to Reduce Risk Indoors. There are good ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and stay healthy while indoors.

  • First, wear masks. Snug, well-fitting cloth face masks should be worn indoors when others are present regardless of the distance between people. (You do not need to wear a mask indoors at home with your household members.)
  • Second, limit the number of people you’re with and length of time you’re with them indoors. Stay as far apart as possible. Remember, the guidance is not “mask up OR stay 6 feet or more of distance.” Rather, the safe thing to do is to wear a mask AND stay 6 feet or more apart from others.
  • Third, do what you can to improve ventilation in indoor spaces, including opening windows when possible. More fresh air means lower risk.
  • And of course, washing hands frequently and cleaning surfaces often is always important.

(Patty Hays, Director RN, MN, King County Public Health)

COVID-19 Statistics. As a country, we are by no means seeing a relative reduction of risk of COVID-19 related death yet.

US Population 331,000,000

    • COVID 7,140,000
    • Deaths 208,000
    • COVID cases per pop 2.16%
    • COVID deaths per pop .00063

Canada population 37,590,000

    • COVID 155,000
    • Deaths 9278
    • COVID cases per pop  .41%
    • COVID deaths per pop .00025

Sweden Population 10,230,000

    • COVID 80,923
    • Deaths 5880
    • COVID cases per pop .79%
    • COVID deaths per pop .00057

There have been 80 deaths in Sweden compared to 17,000 U.S. deaths, since deaths numbered 188,000 in the US (now at 208,000). Sweden is 3% of the U.S. population. The U.S. has experienced COVID-related deaths at 6.58 times the COVID-19 death rate in Sweden since deaths numbered 188,000 in the United States. This is rate-to-rate, considering each population. Numbers-to-numbers is obvious. Overall, per capita, a person is almost three times less likely to die of COVID-19 in Canada than in the United States, considerably better than in Sweden or the United States.

– Mark E. Hoppen, City Manager
City of Normandy Park
801 SW 174th Street
Normandy Park, WA 98166
(206) 248-8246 (Direct Phone)