Coronavirus – Latest Updates from the City of Ridgefield

This webpage is updated as more information is available.

We appreciate our community’s efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Ridgefield. We have created this page to ensure that you have access to accurate and up-to-date information on the City’s COVID-19 response and to provide links to other important resources.

Per statewide Public Health Order, Cloth face coverings are required for everyone 5 and older in all indoor public spaces and outdoor spaces where 6 feet of distancing is not possible. More on the Washington Department of Health website. 

Local Information

November Statewide Restrictions – Nov. 16 – Dec. 14
On Sunday, November 15th Governor Inslee announced new statewide restrictions for four weeks. 

The full proclamation is available here.
The full guidance is available here.

Safe Start Washington: Clark County is in Phase 2.
Movement through the Phases has been paused statewide indefinitely.

Stay up-to-date with current status of COVID-19 cases and related data in Clark County on the Clark County website.

Ridgefield School District

Who should I follow for updates about COVID-19 in our area?

City Response

EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND PRESS RELEASE

City Facilities

City Hall, City offices at the RACC and the Police Department lobby are closed to the public, with limited access by appointment only. Online services will remain available and phones will be answered during normal business hours. Employees are being encouraged to work remotely when possible, provided it does not interfere with vital operations. City offices will be permitted to re-open when Clark County enters Phase 3.

City Services

City services are modified as follows: 

  • All public events and park reservations are cancelled. 
  • Public parks and trails remain open, providing public space to remain active while practicing social distancing. Play structures, sports courts, and park restrooms are re-opened.
  • To alleviate worry and maintain a standard of health in our community, the City will not assess late fees nor disconnect water service until further notice. You will continue to receive bills and past due reminders during this time. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please call us at (360) 887-3557 to make payment arrangements.
    • Utility payments can be made online, by phone (360)887-3557, by mail or by drop box in front of City Hall.
  • Ridgefield Police has resumed issuing Concealed Weapons permits by appointment only. Please call 360-887-3556.

City Events

Here are how City Events are affected by COVID-19:

Sports Fields & Practices (updated 11/3/2020)

Effective Monday, November 2nd, the City of Ridgefield COVID-19 Emergency Order was amended to allow organized team practices subject to the regulations specified in the Washington State Phase 2 Sporting Activities Guidelines (link below). The Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex and all other fields in Ridgefield will be available for organized sports practices as outlined in the State’s guidance.

This change is being made based on five key factors:

  1. On October 6, the State updated guidance for sporting activities, to allow greater flexibility with clear restrictions/guidelines to ensure public safety.
  2. On October 16, the State Department of Health updated their decision tree for in-person learning adding an option even in high risk communities (including Clark County) for extracurricular activities in small groups of 6 or fewer students. This reconciled a previous contradiction in State guidance.
  3. On October 26, nine Clark County school districts (including Ridgefield School District) collectively agreed to begin hybrid in-person learning with Kindergarteners in the coming weeks. The Ridgefield School District also made the decision to move forward with the WIAA approved open coaching period from November 2 through December 19.
  4. Clark County Public Health has expressed great concern about the record rates of COVID-19 in our community but is less concerned about spread of the virus in a controlled outdoor environment with precautions in place.
  5. The City has become increasingly concerned about the social, emotional, and mental health toll this pandemic and necessary isolation is taking on our children. We will continue to seek safe and sensible solutions that create additional opportunities to connect while following public health guidance.

The State Guidelines for Sporting Activities will be monitored and enforced. Security Officers will patrol the fields to ensure that rules are being followed to keep everybody safe and continue moving forward with the fields open and available. The focus will be on education (step 1), but if there are persistent violations, security will ask offenders to leave for the day (step 2). If the violations continue after that, violators will not be allowed to return until adherence to safety precautions can be assured (step 3).

With these guidelines in place, we are looking forward to seeing our children recreate in a safe manner. As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Clark County, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the spread in our community.   

Resources:

City Public Meetings

To assure the health and safety of the general public during this COVID pandemic, and compliance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation, the City of Ridgefield will conduct public meetings virtually. Public meetings include City Council meetings, Planning Commission and Parks Board. Members of the public are invited to attend, listen and participate in the meetings as follows:

MEETING PROCEDURES:
The meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Any member of the public wishing to attend the meeting remotely is invited to attend the meeting via Zoom or telephone call in. Instructions to attend the meeting will be provided the day prior to the meeting on the City Council or Boards and Commissions web pages. 

PUBLIC HEARING:
Members of the public may provide testimony during a Public Hearing listed on the agenda in two ways:

Live comments. If possible, notify the City Clerk that you would like to make comments during the public hearing no later than 3PM the day of the meeting. Notification may be made by email at julie.ferriss@ci.ridgefield.wa.us. Provide your full name and phone number. When your name is called by the Mayor during the meeting, the City Clerk will unmute your microphone so you are able to make your comments.

If notification is not provided in advance, use the “raise your hand” feature on Zoom during the public hearing if you wish to make a comment. When your name is called by the Mayor, the City Clerk will unmute your microphone so you are able to make your comments.

As in a live meeting, all comments will be limited to 3 minutes.

Written comments may be submitted to the City Clerk via email or be placed in the drop box in front of City Hall no later than 3PM on the day of the scheduled City Council meeting. Comments will be compiled and provided to the City Council and necessary City staff.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Members of the public wishing to address items not on the agenda must email the comments to the City Clerk at julie.ferriss@ci.ridgefield.wa.us no later than 3PM on the day of the scheduled City Council meeting. Comments will be compiled and provided to the City Council and necessary City staff.

As usual, a recording of all Council meetings will be made available on the City website the day after the meeting at https://ridgefieldwa.us/government/city-council-meeting-audio-files/

Resources for Businesses and Workers

Unemployment Questions?
Washington State Employment Security Division

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 starting on April 1, 2020.

The act gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.

The Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Business Guidelines

On May 4th, 2020 Governor Inslee signs Proclamation 20-25.3 and outlined the “Safe Start” plan, a phased approach to re-open Washington’s economy. Under the plan, businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures & health standards in place. Businesses may also need to meet additional requirements developed specifically for their industry. There have been updates to the guidance for many industries over the past several months. Please visit the Governor’s website for a complete list of guidance. 

Note: ALL indoor and outdoor live entertainment are prohibited. Exemptions include Weddings, Funerals and Church Services following respective guidelines. 

ALL Businesses must comply with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and with the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations.

Phase 2 Resources – Links for Businesses

If you have questions about requirements and guidelines for your business during this time, please contact City Manager Steve Stuart at steve.stuart@ci.ridgefield.wa.us or (360) 887-3557.

November Statewide Restrictions – Nov. 16 – Dec. 14
On Sunday, November 15th Governor Inslee announced new statewide restrictions for four weeks. 

The full proclamation is available here.
The full guidance is available here.

Business Loans and Assistance

COVID-19 Signage

Resources for Residents

Utilities

  • Online Utility services are available 24 hours a day.
  • There will be no late fees assessed for water bills until further notice, and there will be no water shutoff during this time frame. Please call (360) 887-3557 if you are having trouble paying your bill.
  • Start/Stop/Move Utility services may be completed online or by phone at (360) 887-3557.
  • Through the Shop Local and Save Program the City of Ridgefield is offering utility rebates for local receipts. This program is for a limited time. Learn more about the program here.

Parks, Trails, and Sports Fields

  • Public parks, trails, play structures, and restrooms are open. Follow social distancing protocols and do not recreate if you are feeling ill.
  • Park reservations are cancelled and future reservations closed. Park reservations will resume in Phase 3. 

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

If you receive letters, calls, emails, or other communications from individuals claiming to be from the IRS and offering coronavirus stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams.

Electric, natural gas, water and telecommunication companies can’t disconnect your service for unpaid bills through July 28. Anyone who says otherwise is a scammer! Hang up and call your utility. If you’re worried about paying your bill or having your utility service disconnected, learn how the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission can help. Call them at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit http://bit.ly/2Db8gqg.

Food Resources

Ridgefield Family Resource Center

Location: We are located in Portables C and D between the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC) and Union Ridge Elementary School.  Take Pioneer Street into downtown Ridgefield and park in the RACC parking lot at 510 Pioneer Street.  We are in the portable to the right of the RACC building, outside of the fencing.

Hours: The Ridgefield Family Resource Center is open to serve Ridgefield School District’s students, families, and staff on the following days and times:

Monday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Thursday 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm

For resource needs and to make an appointment outside of these house, please contact Chris Poppert at 360-619-1412 or via email at christine.poppert@ridgefieldsd.org.

To learn more about the services we provide and the resources available to you and your family, visit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center website at http://rsdfamilyresourcecenter.weebly.com/ 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

21814 NW 11th Avenue, Ridgefield, WA 98642
Handing out food boxes on Tuesdays, 10-12:30.

Compassion 360

Local non-profit providing food boxes and additional support. Order online: https://www.compassion360.org/ click on “Let us know How Can We Help”

Clark County Food Bank

Food pantry sites: https://www.clarkcountyfoodbank.org/get-food-covid19
Prepared meal sites: https://www.clarkcountyfoodbank.org/preparedmealsites

Goods and Services:

Finances

  • To alleviate worry and maintain a standard of health in our community, the City of Ridgefield will not assess late fees nor disconnect water service until further notice. You will continue to receive bills and past due reminders during this time. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please call us at (360) 887-3557 to make payment arrangements.
  • Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19

Activities

Fitness Activities

Indoor Activities

Outdoor Activities

Builders and Developers

UPDATE (6/12/2020)

The City is accepting all submittals, drop-offs, and pick-ups. 

Site work, building construction, and inspections may proceed for all construction projects. 

The remaining restrictions can be found in the Phase 2 Community Development Operations.

LIMITATIONS

Permits

For single-family residential building permits, submittals and pick-ups are limited to five per builder per week. Email an electronic version of the building permit application materials to staff by 1pm on Monday to receive an invoice and schedule a hard-copy submittal during the same week.

There are no limitations on submittals, drop-offs, or pick-ups for other permits. 

Building inspections

Inspections are restricted to new construction and unoccupied structures that have been vacant for more than two weeks. Building inspectors must take proper actions to reduce the spread of disease in the field, including maintaining 6 feet of separation at all times, using disinfectant, and wearing masks and gloves. Workers on site must be following requirements from the Governor’s Phase 2 Construction COVID-19 Job Site Requirements. 

If, at any time, building inspectors arrive to inspect a site and these measures are not in effect, the building inspector will immediately stop the inspection and shut down all jobsite activity until it can be proven that these required measures are in effect.

PROCEDURES

See Phase 2 Community Development Operations

Members of the public may not enter the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center (RACC, 510-B Pioneer St). Staff is available by phone and email during normal working hours. Scheduling appointments to submit, drop off, and pick up materials is at staff members’ discretion. 

For building permits, schedule appointments with Dorothy Harrington, Dorothy.harrington@ci.ridgefield.wa.us, 360-857-5011.

For land use and engineering permits, schedule appointments with Cristy May, cristy.may@ci.ridgefield.wa.us, 360-857-5027.

Submittal procedures

Email staff an electronic version of the application materials (M 8am-12pm for single-family residential building permits, M-F 8am-12pm for other permits). Staff will process the application and send an invoice. Schedule hard copy submittal with staff and submit a hard copy of the application materials (and check, if paying by check) on the table outside of the RACC. Alert staff that the materials have been submitted, and staff will pick up the materials immediately.

Drop-off procedures

Schedule drop-off with staff (Single-family residential M-F 8am-1pm; other M-F 8am-3pm). Drop off materials on the table outside of the RACC. Alert staff that the materials have been dropped off, and staff will pick up the materials immediately. 

Pick-up procedures

Schedule pick-up with staff (Single-family residential M-F 8am-1pm; other M-F 8am-3pm). Alert staff when you are in the RACC parking lot. Staff will place the materials to be picked up on the table outside of the RACC. If paying by check, replace the materials with a check which staff will pick up immediately.

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