In This Issue....
WSU Offers New Home Horticulture Training Program
Board of Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on Floodplain Development Regulations
County Facilities Operations During State COVID-19 Outbreak Surge
But first....
Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek released a video message on Thursday, November 19, to provide an update on community transmission rates of COVID-19 in Thurston County, along with a reminder to keep Thanksgiving gatherings to people from your own household only. You can watch her message here.
1
COVID-19 Update
From Friday, November 13, to Thursday, November 19, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services confirmed 403 additional Thurston County residents diagnosed with COVID-19. This brings the total of confirmed cases in the county to 2,684. There have been a total of 158 people hospitalized (number is of accumulated hospitalizations, not all currently hospitalized), and 1,909 people recovered or recovering. We are sad to share three Thurston County residents died this week due to complications with COVID-19. We join the community in mourning and send our deepest condolences to their friends and families. Forty-two Thurston County residents have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The highest number of cases are in the 98513, 98501, and 98503 zip codes. (You can learn more in this week's COVID-19 update). Find other resources related to COVID-19, including mental health resources, on the PHSS COVID-19 webpage.
2
WSU Extension Offers Home Horticulture Training
The Washington State University Extension in Thurston County has a new online Home Horticulture Training program designed to help participants learn how to be better home gardener and stewards of the environment. The training will occur, weekly, on Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., January 9, 2021 through April 24, 2021. It will focus on a wide range of horticulture topics taught online by WSU faculty, staff, WSU Master Gardeners, and other regional experts.

Tuition for this training program is $300 and trainees must have a computer with internet access, an e-mail account, and a Zoom account to participate. Registration is open until Friday, December 18, or until the class is full, whichever comes first. The tuition fee also includes access to WSU Extension’s online Master Gardener Training Modules and the extensive Master Gardener Manual. For more information and to register, please visit www.extension.wsu.edu/thurston/gardening or email Cori Colton, Program Manager, acori.carlton@co.thurston.wa.us.
3
Board of Commissioners Extend CPED Extension Ordinance for Economic Security and Relief

After a public hearing on Tuesday, November 17, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to extend an ordinance temporarily allowing extensions of the expiration date for certain development related building applications and approvals through Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have the potential to delay reviews and impede progress on development related activities.

You can watch this public hearing and more on the Thurston County YouTube channel.
4
Board of Commissioners to Hold Floodplain Development Regulations Public Hearing
The Thurston County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, November 24, at 3:00 p.m. at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, Room 280, 2000 Lakeridge Drive, SW in Olympia, to receive public comment on a proposed ordinance to finalize amendments to floodplain development regulations. The floodplain development regulations were originally adopted with an interim ordinance on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The changes are primarily technical amendments to ensure consistency with the National Flood Insurance Program for development in flood hazard areas.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a video conference option will also be available in addition to in-person attendance to ensure those wishing to provide comment have every option available. Meeting information will be posted on the board’s public hearings webpage. Copies of the proposed regulations and the full text of the proposed ordinance is available at: www.thurstoncountywa.gov.

You can submit written comments to Jeremy Davis, Operations Manager, at jeremy.davis@co.thurston.wa.us no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24, or at the public hearing. You can also mail or hand deliver comments to:
Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development
Attention: Jeremy Davis, Operations Manager
Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502
5
County Facilities Operations
Thurston County government buildings are still open to the public with safety measures like physical distancing and requiring face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public and employee health. The county also continues to take measures to keep everyone safe, including enhanced cleaning. If you come to county facilities, please be prepared for potentially long wait times or lines due to distancing guidelines. We continue to encourage residents to access county services online, by phone, by email, or through the use of drop boxes located outside of county buildings.

Thurston County parks and trails are also open. Unless you are recreating alone, masks are required for everyone six and up. Park visitors are encouraged to practice physical distancing and take everything they bring to the park with them when they leave, including garbage. In addition, the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) in Lacey is open for normal operations (Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m.– 4:45 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m.– 4:45 p.m.). Learn more at: www.thurstoncountywa.gov.
Before you go....
The Washington State Quitline marked its 20th Anniversary on Thursday, November 19, and announced modernized services to meet ongoing and emergent needs, from helping adults quit smoking to curbing the youth vaping epidemic.
Since November 2000, the Quitline has provided free, personalized, phone-based tobacco cessation counseling to tens of thousands of callers, saving them money and helping them live longer. Learn more at: www.thurstoncountywa.gov.
Thurston County government offices will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. All offices will re-open for regular business on Monday, November 30. The County’s Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) in Lacey will be closed on Thursday, November 26, but will re-open for regular business hours Friday, November 27. Gates open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 4:45 p.m.; the HazoHouse and the Recycle Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Friday, November 27.