Once again, we are faced with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was only one short month ago that we here at City Hall, the large majority of whom are vaccinated, celebrating in being able to take off our masks while working. We opened our doors and no longer required masks to visit if you were vaccinated. That felt so liberating! It was so absolutely normal that it felt kind of weird for a while. But we quickly adjusted and were happy to do so. There were actually new staff members whose faces I had not seen in their entirety due to COVID! I personally held meetings where we met face to face for the first time in over a year. It was really feeling like we could put this whole COVID pandemic in our rearview mirror. It felt like we were heading in the right direction.
Then, came the new Delta variant, along with a slowdown in vaccinations. And suddenly we find ourselves with increasing cases once more and increasing hospitalizations in the county and locally. Not at all what we had hoped and longed for. Add to that disturbing reality the news that this new Delta variant can be spread even by those who are vaccinated. Yes, those of us who thought we were “home free” and did not have to worry because we were given the impression not only that we could not get the virus, but that we would not be able to spread it as well, are able to spread it. Just when we think we have this coronavirus figured out, it changes, and we have to deal with something new.
What this means in practical terms here at City Hall and other City facilities, is that we are going back to requiring masks for all employees and visitors. This is not something I wanted to do. I jokingly asked staff if they were going to stone me for making this announcement. But if following CDC’s new guidelines in places where COVID cases are on the rise keeps our staff and community safe, we will do it. I strongly encourage businesses to think about doing the same. We must cause as much disruption to this virus as we can. And hopefully this new surge can be thwarted in a relatively short time, and we can once again get back on that track to normalcy. In the meantime, we would still love to see you at City Hall. But we just ask that you wear your mask to do your business with us, and we’ll provide the hand sanitizer and keep the counters clean.
We will continue to get through this together,
Carl J. Florea, Mayor
City of Leavenworth
700 Highway 2
Leavenworth, WA 98826