March 17th, 2020

A letter from Anacortes Mayor Gere

Dear Anacortes Community, As I write this, community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring in Skagit County. We are all seeing breaking news on our TV screens, hearing it on the radio, on our phones and from our fellow community members. Now is the time to follow the guidelines set by Skagit County Public Health and the CDC to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

Last night, at the Monday, March 16th City Council Meeting, I put forth a Proclamation declaring an Emergency. The City Council ratified the proclamation allowing the City to respond strategically to assist those in our community over the coming weeks. The City is working to be a facilitator and resource for collaboration between our public, private, not-for-profit and faith organizations so that we can act nimbly to address the needs those in Anacortes during these uncertain times.

To avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus, we are making an effort to limit exposure through social gatherings. We have closed the Library, Museum, Senior Center and City Hall to the public. All City essential services will continue, including Fire, Police and Emergency Services as well as solid waste services, water and sewer. Citizens may pay utility bills, acquire licenses, submit permit applications, contact staff, and transact other City business via telephone, email, and online. The City will create procedures to allow for curbside pickup and drop-off for certain City processes, and we will post them on the City’s website.

We need to be supportive of each other and be compassionate. We are uncertain of what actions may yet need to be taken but we know that implementing social distancing now, will save lives. I am asking you to contribute to our response efforts by being a kind neighbor. Buy only what you need for a few days. Support a local business or restaurant by purchasing a take-out meal. If you have extra supplies, share them, and please continue to check our COVID-19 information page for the most up to date information on this serious health crisis.

I want to assure you, the City is monitoring the situation, issuing recommendations and taking actions based on direction from the CDC and Skagit County Public Health Department, the lead agency for local COVID-19 response. While this significant public health crisis is occurring the Anacortes City Council and City employees are working together to be responsive to your questions and concerns.

Most importantly, we are a community that cares and watches out for each other. Keep yourselves and your families safe. We are Anacortes and we will survive this and be stronger for it. Look for unexpected opportunities and gifts in these unprecedented times.

Be kind and take care, Mayor Laurie

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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