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Mayor's COVID-19 Newsletter

With information regarding COVID-19 continually being updated, I’ve decided to publish this newsletter to share what we know with the residents of Renton. In each edition our team will bring you the latest updates from around the city as well as information from state and federal officials and agencies.

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COVID-19 Resources

The city has compiled resources from several city, county, state and federal entities into a comprehensive COVID-19 page.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 Update

In his 5 p.m. press conference, Gov. Inslee announced he is extending his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order until at least May 4.

Issue: 13
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Photo of Zach Holm holding masks

Who was that man in the mask?

In one newsletter last week, I suggested our readers send us photos or messages to put in with the meals we’re providing our seniors. Imagine my surprise when our recreation program coordinator Zach Holm and his family took my request one significant step further.

Photo of Zachary HolmEarlier today Zach delivered 176 homemade cloth masks to the senior center. Twenty of the masks are for center staff and the rest will be handed out to seniors along with the lunches.

“We saw the call for items (in the newsletter) and thought it was a good idea,” said Zach. “But we thought we could do even better and came up with the idea of making the masks.”

Zach and his mom Cindy and dad Peter went to work Friday evening, continuing through the weekend and into Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, they had finished 176 masks.

Each senior who picked up a lunch Wednesday was offered a mask, which they accepted with a smile and a “thank you.”

Zach Holm placed masks in vanThe twenty masks for staff were made out of fabric adorned with rubber ducks in homage to the Rubber Ducky Derby, a highlight of our annual Renton River Days celebration. “I thought that was appropriate,” Zach laughed.

The project was a labor of love for the Holm family. “We did it for our seniors. We wanted to look out for them and make sure they felt safe in an unsafe time.”

For those who do not know him, Zach has worked for the city since he started as lifeguard at age 16 and now manages the aquatics programs at Henry Moses Aquatics Center and Coulon and Kennydale beach parks. He hires the lifeguards and beach staff and is in charge of maintenance.

Zach and his family are a great example of what has been happening in Renton during this pandemic. We’ve witnessed a community coming together, neighbors taking care of neighbors, and more and more of us patronizing restaurants through to-go and delivery orders. With this community spirit and togetherness I know we will come out of this pandemic stronger than ever.

Census Day

Today is Census Day. Given all that’s been happening our community, the Census may not be at the top of your list. However, it is exactly in times like these that our community needs the resources that an accurate Census count will provide for the next 10 years. If you haven’t already, please take 10 minutes to respond to the 10 questions on the Census 2020 survey either online at, or by calling the Census toll free number 1-844-330-2020.

The response rate for Renton so far is 43.3%; our goal is 100%. Please help to make certain that Renton counts!

Republic Services offers adjustments

Republic Services is offering to adjust service levels for businesses that have forced to close because of the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. Residential customers whose garbage service needs may have increased, can easily get a larger container. See more under the Republic Services header.

Update on city functions. New/updated information is italicized.

City Hall

  • City Hall is closed to the public until further notice. Most services available via telephone and online.

  • CDC guidelines for screening employees have been implemented. Health screening questions will be asked.

  • Increased frequency for disinfecting common spaces, counters and door handles in all facilities throughout our hours of operation.

  • Created COVID-19 page with links to information and prevention.

  • Enacted a telework policy for eligible employees until further notice.

  • Enacted a prohibition on enforcement of city noise restrictions on vehicles.

  • COVID-19 link added to Renton Responds app.

  • The human resources department is adapting to changes and making decisions to be responsive to COVID-19. We're doing everything to ensure we keep our employees safe and healthy as we continue to serve our customers.

  • Mayor's Emergency Order #2020-3: Supporting State Moratorium On Residential Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent.

  • Don't forget to complete your 2020 Census.

  • Mayors urge residents to follow best practices.

  • March 23 - Mayor’s COVID-19 update to City Council Committee of the Whole.

  • March 24 - City's response to governor's order of "Stay Home, Stay Healthy"

City Council

  • The City Council will next meet on Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

  • Subcommittee meetings are cancelled.

  • Meetings are live on Channel 21 in Renton and streamed online.

  • Submit comments to councilmembers via or to Renton City Hall, c/o City Clerk, 1055 S. Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.

 Donations/Social Services/Healthcare

  • Puget Sound Blood Bank is short on supplies. Find a donation event.

Economic Development


  • The following facilities are closed at least through April 24: Renton Community Center, Renton Senior Activity Center, Highlands Community Center, North Highlands Community Center and Renton History Museum.

  • Lunch program continues at Senior Activity Center. Seniors (50+) can drive through and pick up a sack lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • City Hall and the Public Works, Parks and Facilities shops are closed to the public until further notice.

Food Banks/Resources


Community and Economic Development Department (CED) has been receiving questions from homeowners and contractors regarding how the city is interpreting the construction-related provisions of Gov. Inslee’s Stay Home-Stay Healthy Proclamation and related guidance issued by the Governor’s Office.

  • CED has interpreted the Stay Home-Stay Healthy order to deem new residential and commercial construction as non-essential activities, except that construction of public projects (such as public affordable housing projects) and public components of private projects (such as utilities and streets intended for turnover to the city) are essential activities. Furthermore, CED has interpreted the Stay Home-Stay Healthy order to allow construction related to the order’s list of essential activities including supply chain for goods, services, and healthcare.

  • Under these interpretations, CED will continue its physical inspections associated with the following city-issued permits:

    • Building permits for occupied residential structures necessary to avoid damage or unsafe conditions;

    • Building permits for buildings that are a necessary component of the community’s supply chain for goods, services, and healthcare;

    • Engineering permits for facilities intended to be made part of the city’s public infrastructure. Such facilities include water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater utilities intended to be transferred to the city at completion and street improvements intended to be transferred to the city at completion.

  • Although CED will not be performing physical onsite inspections for new unoccupied homes or other projects not falling into the above list, some inspections can be accomplished virtually. If you are interested in more information about virtual inspections, please contact the Building Division: 425-430-7202.

  • These interpretations are valid as of March 30, 2020 under the governor’s guidance in effect as of that date. Please note that these interpretations are subject to change as more information becomes available regarding the efforts to contain COVID-19 or if further guidance is issued by the governor’s office.

Mental Health Resources/Health Care

Mental Health

Additionally, there are also several recommended things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths and stretch, eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid excessive alcohol and drugs.

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Health Care

Online Payments

  • Business licenses, pet licenses, courts, tax and licensing and utility bills can all be paid online.


  • Permit counter is closed to the public until further notice. Applicants should use online options for payments and tracking applications.

  • Fees and permitting waived for A-frame business signs advertising curbside pick-up.

  • Permitting (General information): 425-430-7200

  • Schedule an Inspection: Permitting Portal; Building: 425-430-7202; Civil/Site: 425-430-7203.

Public Works

  • The Maintenance Facility is closed to the public.

  • To request service or report a problem call 425-430-7400 on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

  • After normal business hours, call the Renton Police Department dispatch at 425-430-7500 to request assistance from an on-call representative. If the problem is an emergency, please call 911.

  • Residents can also use the Renton Responds app.

  • 20 MPH flashing school zone beacons turned off.

  • The May 9 Spring Recycling Event is cancelled and will be rescheduled.

  • Continuity of operations measures initiated to isolate water treatment operators from other employees during work.



  • All parks. However, restrooms, playgrounds, sport courts, fields, and other active recreation areas within parks are closed. (3/20)

  • All trails, except two sections of the Cedar River Trail.

  • In both parks and trails, please follow recommended social distancing and proper hand washing.

Click image to download a copy pf the poster


  • All restrooms, playgrounds, sport courts, fields and other active recreation areas within city parks. (3/20)

  • All classes, events and activities at least through April 24.

  • Registrations through April 26 will be cancelled.

  • Refunds processing for March cancellations; April to follow.

  • Maplewood Golf Course, driving range, pro shop and River Rock Grill until further notice. No public access.

Renton Municipal Airport

  • Offices are closed to the public. Runway and support services are operational.

  • For general information, please visit our website or call 425-430-7471 (administration) or 206-423-3715 (maintenance).

Renton Municipal Court

  • Courts are closed until further notice and staff is working remotely.

  • In-custody court hearings are no longer being held at City Hall.

  • Jail Calendar is heard via video conference with prosecutors and public defenders.

  • Work is on-going to conduct Domestic Violence No Contact Order Recalls.

  • Jury service and passport service is suspended until at least April 27.

  • Continuing all non-essential hearings until a later date.

Renton Police Department

  • March 13 - Chief Ed VanValey updates procedures.

  • Closed the police department lobby and walk up window at city hall.

  • Only use 911 for emergencies; non-emergency reporting: 425-235-2121.

  • Public Health - Seattle & King County (206-477-3977) handles complaints of crowds of 50 or more.

  • School zone cameras turned off.

  • March 20 - Message from Chief Ed VanValey.

  • March 23 - Message from Chief Ed VanValey on governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy".

  • File a police report.

  • March 27 - Message from Chief Ed VanValey: "our role is to help educate"

Renton Regional Fire Authority

Renton Schools

Republic Services

  • Republic Services has put into effect new temporary guidelines for waste collection procedures in the interest of safety for both the public and their drivers. All recycling and organics materials must be placed in a cart or can; any loose, bundled, or bagged items outside of a cart or can will not be collected. Extra garbage must be placed in a cart, can, or secured in bags. Bulky waste collection and Clean Sweep collections are suspended until further notice. All collection routes are on normal schedule. Questions? Contact Republic Services at 206-777-6440.

  • Republic Services will waive late fees and penalties and will not activate any service suspensions for a period of 90 days. (March 23)

  • If your business has been temporarily closed as a result of the governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order you may contact Republic Services for a temporary reduction in garbage service to the minimum level of service - currently a 20-gallon cart service. Your account will reflect a credit for the pro-rated difference between the rate for the service subscribed during normal business operations and the minimum level of service during the temporary business closure. Please contact Republic Services Customer Service at 206-777-6440 to make your arrangements.

  • Given that many residents are currently working from home and garbage service needs may have increased, residential customers may contact Republic Services at 206-777-6440 to make any service level changes to meet their current needs. Residents are required to maintain at least a minimum, 20-gallon cart subscription for garbage.



Men’s Shelters & Day Centers

Catholic Community Services. Hosted by a different Renton church every month. Includes case management services.

  • Space is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Overnight services from 7:30 p.m.-7:30 a.m. Men allowed on-site at 7 p.m.
  • 515B 116th Ave NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    (425) 289-4044

Day Center
Resource referrals, showers, laundry, meals. Open Sunday – Thursday from
8 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • 515B 116th Ave NE Suite 174
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    Women’s Shelters & Day Centers

Women's Shelters and Day Centers

Kent Hope
Resource referrals, showers, laundry, meals, healthcare. Open every day 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

  • 9009 Canyon Drive
    Kent, WA 98030
    (253) 480-2325

The Sophia Way
Apply for extended stay shelter online.
Resource referrals, showers, laundry, breakfast/lunch. Open every day 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • 3032 Bellevue Way NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    (425) 896-7385

Women’s Referral Center
Check in at Angeline’s Day Center between 6-9 p.m. then transported to host locations for overnight stay. The Center offers showers, laundry, and dinner.

  • 2030 3rd Ave.
    Seattle, WA 98101
    (206) 441-3210

Hospitality House
Opens at 6 p.m. every night.

  • 419 SW 150th St.
    Burien, Washington 98166
    (206) 242-1860

Family Shelters & Day Centers

All for shelter/day center intake.

  • 316 S 3rd St,
    Renton, WA 98057
    (425) 277-7594

Center of Hope Day Center
Resource referrals, showers, laundry. Open Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Renton City Hall
    1055 S Grady Way
    Renton, WA 98057

Effective April 6: REACH Center of Hope is relocating to St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 1700 Edmonds Ave. NE. They will be there through the end of May.

Mary’s Place
Call 206-245-1026 for shelter referrals. 


  • March 30 - Interactive tool for riders whose routes experienced service cuts

    March 29 - If your route was cut on March 23, are some alternative routes to consider

  • March 21 – Sound Transit service change includes new route, temporary service reductions.

  • March 20 – Sounds Transit to suspend fares on all transit modes until further notice.

  • March 19 - Sound Transit to temporarily reduce service on Link light rail, Sounder trains, some ST Express routes.

  • March 18 - Metro plans to temporarily reduce service starting Monday, March 23 to support the health of the community.


  • City will waive late fees and penalties and will not shut off water service for a period of 90 days. (March 23)

  • Questions? Utility billing division: 425-430-6852;

King County

  • March 31 – County Council approves $2.2 million for emergency childcare for first responders and other essential workers during COVID-19 crisis.
  • March 30 - King County postpones payment deadline to June 1 for individual property taxpayers who pay property taxes themselves, rather than through their mortgage lender.

  • Don't flush trash - Wipes, paper towels, and other "unflushables" can create a sewer backup in your home. Flush only toilet paper and protect your home, the sewer system, and the environment.

  • March 24 - King County releases new health and safety guidelines to child care providers.

State of Washington

  • April 1 - The state is seeking to fill shortages of specific personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection-control products to support our medical system, first responders, public health and care facilities.

  • April 1 – Gov. Inslee issued additional guidance on the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order related to essential businesses. It clarifies as “essential” nannies (who are deemed essential if they are in the home taking care of children of essential workers), automotive repair facilities and limited automotive sales and leasing activities, and renewable energies. The bulletin also includes guidance that recreational fishing and golf are NOT deemed essential.

  • March 31 – Governor and Washington State Department of Financial Institutions announce assistance for homeowners unable to make mortgage payments.

  • March 30 - Department of Licensing is temporarily closing all driver licensing lobbies on March 31.
  • March 30 – The state has set up an online form to report non-essential businesses that violate the governor’s Stay Home-Stay Health order.
  • March 27 - Gov. Inslee welcomes Army doctors to field hospital in Seattle.
  • March 23 - Governor announces a stay at home order, banning all gatherings and closing all but those businesses classified by the Federal guidelines as essential. The ban will take effect on March 25 and be in place for a minimum of two weeks. The governor indicated the order is voluntary in nature, it is enforceable by law. Resident will be able to conduct essential business (shopping, doctor’s appointments) and restaurants cans still conduct business via to-go orders. [Spanish]
  • March 19 – Governor orders halt to elective surgeries and dental services to reserve critical equipment for COVID-19 health care workers.

  • March 18 – Governor waives one-week wait for unemployment benefits. 

  • March 17 - Governor signs bill package to support state effort combating the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • March 16 - Governor issues statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded.

  • March 13 - Governor expands school closure/gathering ban statewide.


  • March 27 - Congress passes CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion federal stimulus package to aid coronavirus relied and economic stimulus.
  • March 22 – President approves Washington disaster declaration.

Important Links

Information for Businesses and Employees

For Businesses

For Employees

Financial Resources


Comments, questions or suggestions, or just want to share all the great things that are happening in the city, please email me. Thanks for reading.


Mayor's Newsletter wins National NAGC Award

NAGC national first place award

The Mayor's Newsletter has been awarded a 2018 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award for First Place for External Newsletters by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC).

The committee looked at submissions from all over the country and judged them on purpose, goals, objectives, target audience, and special factors.

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