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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Bryan Dominique, Public Information Officer, 360-463-3437 or email at bryan.dominique@co.thurston.wa.us  

COVID-19 Response: Commissioners Extend Local Emergency Resolution
Commissioners also pass economic security and relief ordinance to extend expiration dates for development applications

​OLYMPIA – Today, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to extend and amend the resolution declaring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a local emergency in Thurston County through midnight on Sunday, May 31, 2020. The original resolution, passed on Thursday, March 12, 2020, expires on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. 

The declaration of a local emergency allows the county, by state law, to undertake emergency purchases and activates the Thurston County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The declaration authorizes county departments and offices to enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat the emergency and protect the health and safety of persons, property, and the environment, and provide emergency assistance to the victims of the emergency. As of 3 p.m. today there were 81 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thurston County.

The resolution was amended as follows: Public access is closed to all county facilities, with the exception of the Sherriff's Office, Prosecuting Attorney's Office, District Court, Superior Court, the Clerk's Office, and county trails, from Friday, April 3, 2020 through Friday, May 15, 2020. The resolution also states that the proclamation of a local emergency and modifications of business hours of county offices and departments will be rescinded, without further action of the Board, if the Governor does not extend his Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order beyond Monday, May 4, 2020. 

The Board then unanimously voted to pass an ordinance aimed at economic security and relief during the COVID-19 emergency. The ordinance temporarily allows extensions of the expiration date for certain development related building applications and approvals. Extension timelines include:

Title/SectionWhat is addressedExisting TimelineExtension
14.17.030Building Permit expirationValid for 1 Year with no activityExtended automatically to September 30, 2020
18.10.050Land Use Applications  - Response to additional information requestsValid for 180 days with no responseExtended automatically an additional 180 days
18.12.150Preliminary PlatsUp to 15 years (depending on type of subdivision)Extended automatically to September 30, 2020
18.16.110Final Plats5 yearsExtended automatically to September 30, 2020
18.32.140Short Plats1 yearExtended automatically to September 30, 2020
18.32.245Short Plats in relation to zoning requirements5 yearsExtended automatically to September 30, 2020
20.54.040Special Use Permits3 yearsExtended automatically to September 30, 2020
24.45.090Reasonable Use Exception3 yearsExtended automatically to September 30, 2020


This emergency has the potential to delay reviews and impede project progress, including the delay of public hearings and other requirements for development project approvals. The intent of the ordinance is to address these potential economic impacts of the COVID-19 emergency.

The following resources are a trusted community source for more information about COVID-19:

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services – COVID-19 website

Mental Health and Coping

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Thurston Strong Economic Recovery Initiative

Thurston Economic Development Council

Thurston County Facebook Page

Thurston County Twitter Page

Public Health and Social Services Facebook Page

Public Health and Social Services Twitter Page

Washington State Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control

FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control

Washington State Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline at 1-800-525-0127

Business Hotline at 1-888-821-6652


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3