On Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020, the City of Des Moines announced that it is cancelling this Thursday night’s (Mar. 12) City Council meeting, due to public health concerns over the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

“After careful consideration and in close consultation with the City’s Emergency Management and leadership team, the decision has been made to cancel the City Council meeting scheduled for March 12, 2020,” the city said in a statement.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in King County. This is an attempt to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, which he described as an “unprecedented health emergency.”

In addition to that ban, King County Public Health issued an order today that prohibits public events with fewer than 250 attendees unless event organizers take specific steps to minimize risk. The Des Moines City Council meeting qualifies as one of these events.

The newly issued King County Public Health order requires that the City take a number of precautions prior to holding a public event. These precautions include:

    • Take active steps to discourage older and vulnerable individuals from attending,
    • Ensure that recommendations for social distancing are met,
    • Provide for employee health screenings, and
    • Provide sufficient hand washing, sanitation and cleaning supplies for meeting attendees.

“In order to ensure that all of these requirements are satisfactorily met, the March 12, 2020 meeting will be cancelled,” the city said.

The City is reviewing options to comply with this order and ensure the safety of the community.

“We will continue to provide the public with updates on the City’s website as they develop.”