Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

Community and State Responds to COVID-19
Author: peterabbarno
March 14, 2020

Many families and small businesses are being impacted by the Outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. And as of Friday the 13th, every student in the State of Washington is on a school break until April 24th.

As a husband and father, as a business owner, and as Centralia mayor pro tem, I am concerned about the short and long term financial, emotional, and health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a very scary time for many of the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods. It is important to stay calm, use caution, and follow sound advice.

I am working closely with the city, county, and state officials to communicate what I believe are the priorities for our communities. Locally, the City of Centralia created a site to provide information about local community services and ways the Centralia residents can pay bills online, view public meetings online, and try to stay engaged while being safe.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District and Mayor Pro Tem.

On Thursday, March 12th, State Lawmakers allocated $200 million towards addressing the outbreak. Of the $200 million earmarked, $175 million will be for state and local response, and $25 million will help businesses impacted by the area outbreak of COVID-19.

The details on how the money will be specifically spent has not been released.

The State should be investing the funds locally; especially in distressed counties, and resist the urge to spend the money on expanding government programs unrelated to the virus outbreak. Small rural communities are really pulling together and I am very proud of the response; unfortunately, the very quick closing of schools without notice or a coordinated plan placed additional financial and emotional strain on working families, ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families, and families living in poverty.

Everyone should be taking the precautions necessary to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy and not risk contracting the virus and passing it to our most vulnerable in the community. I also encourage safely supporting local businesses where you can and connect with community programs and nonprofit organizations.

Peter Abbarno, Candidate for State House of Representatives in the 20th Legislative District and Centralia Mayor Pro Tem.

For more local information, visit the following:

City of Centralia COVID-19 Update (Community Services)

Lewis County Department of Health

Cowlitz County Department of Health & Human Services

Thurston County Department of Health & Social Services

Washington State Department of Health

Washington Department of Financial Institutions

Washington Department of Commerce

Center for Disease Control and Prevention