Olympia City Council renews ordinance declaring state of public health emergency


Olympia’s city council unanimously voted to continue declaring a state of a public health emergency relating to homelessness and COVID-19.

Leonard Bauer, Community Planning and Development director, told the council members that the ordinance would allow the city to carry out services necessary to mitigate the emergency.

Bauer said that by continuing the emergency ordinance for another six months, each city department is empowered to take action for emergency expenditures, enter contracts, provide emergency shelters and render other services.

On July 17, 2018, Bauer said the council first passed an ordinance declaring an emergency relating to human health and environmental conditions.

“Every six months since then, you have reviewed the conditions,” Bauer said, “and continued that emergency for another six months.”

On May 2020, the city council renewed the state of public health emergency ordinance citing the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic which would exacerbate the homelessness condition, Bauer added.

The ordinance has a sunset date of Dec. 19, 2024.during which the council will review the conditions every six months and continue the emergency ordinance if the conditions warrant it.


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