COVID-19

Update - Friday, March 27, 2020

Update at 3:55 p.m.
Washington State Ferries is temporarily reducing service on the Seattle/Bainbridge route beginning on Sunday, March 29 due to significant declines in ridership. The reductions are tentatively scheduled to last through April 25. 

The following schedule changes will be in effect:

  • The route will be on a one-boat reduced service schedule, instead of its usual two-boat service.
  • The weekday 12:55 a.m. departure from Bainbridge and the 1:35 a.m. departure from Seattle are canceled.
  • The weekend 1:25 a.m. departure from Bainbridge, and the 2:10 a.m. departure from Seattle are canceled.

Get more information about WSF service adjustments here.

Update at 2:15 p.m.
Kitsap Public Health reports two additional positive COVID-19 tests on Bainbridge Island, including a person under the age of 20.**

There are now 41 positive tests in Kitsap County, including seven confirmed cases on Bainbridge Island. Get the Kitsap Public Health District updates here.

**An earlier report from the Kitsap Public Health District said "under the age of 19" so we have updated the message to reflect the new Kitsap Public Health information


We continue to support Gov. Jay Inslee’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order requesting all Washington residents stay home to reduce physical interaction to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The order will remain in effect until April 6. For non-essential businesses, the rules will remain in effect until April 8. It’s possible the order could be extended. To learn what is considered an essential service, read the statewide order here

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated and staffed to manage and prioritize resource requests across the community, and to coordinate additional communication and outreach. In response to the Governor’s order, some EOC staff is now working remotely instead of in City Hall.

Status of City operations
Due to the Governor’s orders, City facilities will remain closed to the public through at least April 10. The closure includes City Hall and walk-in services at the Police Station lobby. Some City services are available to the public during this time through electronic submittals, email and phone. Please see the closures/cancellations tab below for specific information for each department.

The Bainbridge Island Municipal Court, located at 10255 NE Valley Road, is closed to the public through at least April 24. Judge Sara McCulloch approved an emergency administrative order March 23 to postpone and reschedule matters at the Municipal Court due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the emergency administrative order here.


Status of restrictions on in-person public meetings and changes related to public records
On March 24, the Governor issued an order modifying, suspending, and waiving provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Public Records Act (PRA) to limit in-person contact and address other issues related to the COVID-19 situation.

Under the Governor’s order, City Council meetings can only occur remotely (i.e., not in person), and can only address matters that are necessary and routine or are necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and the current public health emergency.

Based on clarifying guidance from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, the requirement that meetings are not to be conducted in-person applies to Council members as well as to the public.

This week, the Council confirmed that it plans to meet weekly throughout April. The next meeting is scheduled for April 7 and will be held remotely. The only topic for this meeting will be an update on the City’s COVID-19 emergency response. The start time for the April 7 meeting, the remote platform, and details on public access will be communicated later.

All City Advisory Group meetings, including the Planning Commission and Design Review Board are canceled through April 30.

The City Attorney’s Office continues to assess the requirements of the Governor’s orders as they affect City services. 

City Manager Morgan Smith and Emergency Management Coordinator Anne LeSage provided an update on the City’s COVID-19 response during the March 24 Council meeting. Watch the update here.


Status of construction activity
On March 25, the Governor released additional guidance for construction activity in his ’Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order. Under the Governor’s order, “construction is not considered to be an essential activity.” As a result, all construction – residential and commercial – is not authorized while the order is in place and is subject to limited exceptions.

Please refer to the Governor’s orders for more specificity, but in sum there are exceptions to this order for:

  • Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction) for all essential facilities, services and projects included in the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” document provided by the Governor’s office.
  • Residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity.

For additional information on limited exceptions to the order, please see the Governor’s construction guidance memo issued March 25.

If an activity allowed under this order requires a building inspection from the City of Bainbridge Island Building Department, please contact the Inspection line at 206-780-3789 and see the March 26 Building Inspection Update memo.



Update on Public Works projects
The Public Works Department continues to evaluate whether to proceed with the construction of public infrastructure projects on a case-by-case basis, including public projects constructed by private entities (such as Puget Sound Energy and Comcast) that are regulated through the City’s right of way permit process.

As of March 26, the City has made the decision to proceed with an ongoing drainage improvement project at Waterfront Park, and one private project in the public right of way involving the removal of Comcast utility poles on Miller Road.

City contractors performing the construction of public works projects are being provided with safety and sanitation guidance developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to ensure proper mitigation procedures for working during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Update on BHS 100 Building Replacement project activity
At this time, Washington school districts have been advised by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) that “Neither the [governor’s] proclamation nor the list of essential functions would preclude [school districts] from continuing your construction projects at this time.”

Based upon this instruction from OSPI, BISD does not object to its contractor and subcontractors continuing construction operations on the BHS 100 Building Replacement project. It is vital that construction workers follow the proper social distancing measures put in place by the Governor.

BISD’s construction partners, however, may select to not work during this time and this could inevitably cause some project delays. Read the BISD update here.


Donation requests and community support
As of March 26, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has received the following protective equipment from community members who responded to our request for donations to support health care workers and patients on Bainbridge Island (supplies are currently limited due to impacts on manufacturing and the increase in global demand):

  • 1,004 N95 respirators (a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles – see here)
  • 282 surgical masks
  • 60 safety goggles
  • 16 face shields
  • 80 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 125 handsewn face masks
  • Hundreds of gloves

During the week of March 30, volunteers will accept donations Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at City Hall (just leave your items at the bottom of the steps and a volunteer will get the items). Thank you to the many community members who have stepped up to help with this effort!

Below are specific items that are still needed to ensure the safety of Bainbridge Island health care workers and their patients:

  • N95 respirators
  • Surgical masks
  • Safety goggles
  • Medical gowns
  • Face shields

The EOC has delivered protective equipment to several critical island organizations, including Bainbridge Pediatrics, Bainbridge Island Senior Living, and Virginia Mason.

We’ve also provided supplies to Helpline House, Community Pharmacy, grocery stores, convenience stores, and other businesses throughout the island that remain open to provide essential services. Many of the current community requests are for hand sanitizer to protect staff and volunteers.


Status of Bainbridge Island parks
The City and BI Metro Park & Recreation District support the safe use of parks during this public health emergency. The decision was made earlier this week to close all Bainbridge parks to vehicle access to minimize large gatherings. In the days leading up to this decision, Park District staff observed large gatherings, overflowing parking lots and people not following the social distancing guidelines established by health professionals. We are committed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and hope that our community will respect the temporary changes put in place. At this time, all City and Park District parks remain accessible for people walking, running or biking.

The park changes will remain in place throughout the duration of the Governor’s ’Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order.



Social Distancing
The Bainbridge Island Police Department has received several notifications from community members concerned about large gatherings involving youth. We’d like to remind parents and kids that the Governor’s order discourages large gatherings for any purpose, outside or at home (including sleepovers and parties). The Governor’s office is requesting that you cancel or postpone in-person visits. But, you don’t have to isolate yourself! Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone and video calls, emails and letters, and virtual gatherings. You can use phone apps and social media platforms for group conversations and video chatting.

The Governor’s office encourages you to go for walks, check your mailbox and sit in the sun, but just remember to stay at least six feet away from others.


Use of reusable bags
At this time, T&C is not allowing customers to use reusable bags at checkout for safety reasons. Employees are using paper bags or giving customers the option to put groceries directly in the shopping cart, and then customers can put the groceries into reusable bags once they get to their vehicles. That solution respects both any potential health concerns while also being mindful of the environmental goal established by the City’s ban on plastic bags. Read more on T&C’s current practices here.

T&C has waived the 8-cent fee charged for bags. In November, City Council increased the fee for large paper and thick plastic bags from 5 cents to 8 cents to be consistent with similar fees in Kitsap County, Bremerton and Port Orchard. The fee is retained by the retailer and is meant to offset the cost of bags and other costs related to the pass-through charge.

The City’s single-use plastic bag ordinance remains in place, but we don’t anticipate any code enforcement during this time on this issue, as City staff is focused on life-safety concerns.

Emergency Operations Center

The City activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Monday, March 16 to manage and prioritize resource requests across the community, and to coordinate additional communication and outreach. During this time of uncertainty, the City is focused on three main goals:

  • Support public health guidance 
    • The City is working to support the public health emphasis on slowing the speed of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Support the community
    • As the lead emergency response agency, the City will continue to be a resource for community partners and to manage the work to address requests for resources and planning.
  • Continuance of City services 
    • The City aims to provide essential municipal services that are fundamental to the community, such as Police services and support for utilities and other public infrastructure.

Emergency Proclamation
On Monday, March 9, the City issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency in response to the Kitsap Public Health District’s March 8 confirmation of the county’s first "presumptive positive" COVID-19 case on Bainbridge Island. The proclamation allows the City to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to an outbreak, to adjust City policies and operations if needed, and to access state or federal funds and other resources related to emergency response. Read the proclamation here.


Payments
We are not accepting in-person payments at this time. If you need to make a payment while City Hall is closed, we have several options available:

  • Court fines and certain planning/building permits**
    • By phone: Call 1-866-480-8552 to use our third party vendor, PayGov.
    • Online: Pay online at PayGov or on the City website
    • Pay box: Put a check or envelope in the pay box located near the disabled parking area on the east end of City Hall.

** For questions regarding available payment options for your permit, contact Planning & Community Development at 206-780-3750.

  • Tenants of Dave Ullin Open Water Marina payment options for moorage fees:
    •  Call the front desk at 206-842-7633 to pay with credit or debit card.
    • Use the drop box outside City Hall.
  • Utility billing

To support those who may be facing financial difficulties, the City has suspended water and sewer service shut-offs due to nonpayment for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The City will not pursue collection of late fees related to City utility customers.

Customers will not pay credit card service fees for any City services, including permits, utility bills or other charges, while City Hall is closed. The City will pay the fees charged by the third-party vendor.

Read the City’s change in policy directive here

  1. Closures & Cancellations
  2. Community Resources
  3. Health Information
  4. Governor's Orders
  5. Stay Informed

City Hall and the Police Station are closed to walk-in services through at least April 10. The City has implemented changes to its processes to allow residents to access as many City services as possible through electronic submittals, email and phone.

The Bainbridge Island Municipal Court is closed to the public through at least April 24.

Customer Counters
The following City of Bainbridge Island customer counters are closed to walk-in visitors:

  • Police Department
    • The Police Station lobby is closed to the public. If you need to report a crime or speak to an officer for any reason, please call 911. For other questions or assistance, you may call the station office at 206-842-5211. Our office staff is available to answer your calls between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you get our voice mail during this time, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
    • The following services have been suspended, canceled, or otherwise disrupted until further notice:
      • The drug drop box for old medications in the police station lobby is closed.
      • The police ride-along program is suspended (this includes marine ride-alongs).
      • The Community Police Academy is canceled.
      •  Fingerprinting services are suspended until further notice.
      • Concealed weapon permit applications will be deferred until April 30. Those already in progress will be completed and delivered to the recipient.  
      • To the furthest extent possible, 911 calls for service will be conducted via phone or online through the CopLogic service.
      • Civil standbys and ‘keep the peace’ type calls will not be performed unless in accordance with a court order.
      • Other police services will continue to be provided as much as possible, but please be aware that there may be delays, and we ask for your patience and flexibility regarding the delivery of those services.
  • Municipal Court
    • The Bainbridge Island Municipal Court is closed to the public through at least April 24. Judge Sara McCulloch approved an emergency administrative order Monday, March 23 to postpone and reschedule matters at the Municipal Court, located at 10255 NE Valley Road, due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the order and exceptions here.
    • During the closure, Municipal Court staff may be contacted by phone (206-842-5641) and email (court@bainbridgewa.gov). The Court website will be regularly updated with announcements, forms, and contact information.
    • Passport processing services by the Court staff is suspended through at least April 24.
    •  Any court fines can be paid online through PayGov or by phone at 1-866-480-8552.
  • City Hall
    • Planning & Community Development
      • Appointments for submitting building and land use permits are no longer required. All building and land use permits should be submitted at pcd@bainbridgewa.gov. Additionally, planners and inspectors can continue to be reached by email and phone (see staff directory).
      • Building inspections can be scheduled by emailing inspections@bainbridgewa.gov or by calling 206-780-3789.
    • Public Works – Engineering & Water Resources
      • Staff is available by phone at 206-842-2016 or send an email to pwadmin@bainbridgewa.gov.
      • Inspections
      • Development Engineering 
        • Counter hours are suspended until further notice. Please send all questions (with “DE Question” in the subject line) to pwinspections@bainbridgewa.gov. A Development Engineering staff member will respond within 5 business days.
      • Project support
        • For all inspections, see above. Inspections will not be scheduled sooner than 2 business days after receipt of a request if received prior to noon, or 3 business days if received after noon. Appointment times may be longer depending on availability.
        • For projects currently under review, contact the assigned Development Engineering staff. For submittals or resubmittals, please contact PCD.
  • Public Works – Operations & Maintenance
    •  Staff is available to respond by phone at 206-842-1212 or email at pwom@bainbridgewa.gov. As part of our usual process, please call 911 for emergencies and after hours. Report non-emergencies through SeeClickFix
  • Finance & Administrative Services
    • Court fines and certain planning/building permits (for questions regarding available payment options for your permit, contact Planning & Community Development at 206-780-3750)
      • By phone: Call 1-866-480-8552 to use our third party vendor, PayGov.
      • Online: Pay online at PayGov or on the City website
      • Pay box: Put a check or envelope in the pay box located near the disabled parking area on the east end of City Hall.
    • Tenants of Dave Ullin Open Water Marina payment options for moorage fees:
      • Call the front desk at 206-842-7633  to pay with credit or debit card.
      • Use the drop box outside City Hall.
    • Utility billing

Public Meetings

  • City Advisory Groups
    • At this time, all City Advisory Group meetings, including Planning Commission and the Design Review Board are canceled through April 30.
  • Community meetings
    • The City is not accepting new reservations for meetings at City facilities through April 30.
    • All community training and workshops (e.g., emergency preparedness programs) are canceled through April 30.

Closed

  • The BI Senior Community Center is closed.


City Events

  • The Boaters Fair, scheduled for Saturday, May 2, is canceled.


Kitsap County

  • Beginning March 20, the Kitsap County Treasurer, Auditor and Assessor’s offices will be available by appointment only. The offices will remain closed to the public until further notice. Learn more here.
  • Kitsap County Superior Court
    • The Kitsap County Courthouse, at 614 Division Street in Port Orchard, is open, but has significantly modified and reduced operations. Learn more here.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 

  • Beginning March 25, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will temporarily close all state-managed parks, wildlife areas, and water access areas for at least two weeks in response to Gov. Inslee’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. Get the details here.
  • WDFW is also temporarily closing recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide. Read the update here