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Response to Coronavirus & COVID-19

To Our Beloved Commons Community,

In response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 in King County and beyond, we want to share with you an update about how Third Place Commons is responding and what you can expect in the weeks to come.

Annual Fundraising Breakfast & 20th Anniversary Celebration
This week, we made the difficult decision to cancel our annual community breakfast in response to the recommendations of King County authorities. We did this out of an abundance of caution for our guests, volunteers, and staff.

This decision was a painful one after months of planning for our 20th anniversary celebration, and after significant investments of time, energy, good will, and of course, funds. We were excited to celebrate this milestone for our organization with our wonderful Commons Community and had a number of fun surprises lined up for our guests.

Our hope is that there may yet be a future iteration of this event, or another opportunity to celebrate with you all, at a safer future date. We will certainly keep you all posted on this and encourage you to follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for updates.

In the meantime, it’s also important to note that the annual community breakfast is our largest fundraiser of the year. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we depend on the support of individuals for our operations. The funds normally raised at this event are critical to supporting Third Place Commons and the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market, as well as the Market Bucks food assistance program, throughout the year.

Because the event did not take place and we did not have an opportunity to raise those funds, we hope you will consider making a generous online donation today.

Your gift will honor 20 years of Third Place Commons and 15 years of the Lake Forest Park Farmers Market – and help to build a bright future for both.

Third Place Commons Remains Open
The physical space of Third Place Commons is expected to remain open as usual. Because the space is opened and closed each day by our colleagues at Town Center security, we expect the space to be open during all usual business hours unless the management of Town Center makes a determination to close. We will share updates via social media if we receive notification of such changes.

Programming Schedule May Change
Because of our commitments to our many programming partners, we are not issuing a blanket cancelation of all programming. However, individual events may be canceled at the discretion of the performers/presenters, or if we make the determination that such a decision must be made for specific events. Some events have already been canceled.

Because the program schedule may change on short notice, we encourage you to check our calendar or follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for all program updates before heading out to see or participate in any of our events.

We do urge those who wish to attend to use discretion and abide the recommendations of the public health authorities regarding your participation in such events. See more on that below in the Public Precautions section.

Precautions Taken by Town Center Management
We have been in touch with Merlone Geier, the management of the Town Center, to address the public health concerns presented by the COVID-19 virus and they have let us know that they are taking the following steps:
• Redoubling strength and frequency of cleaning efforts and using virus-killing cleaning products;
• Installing hand-sanitizer stations around the mall;
• Temporarily removing all toys from the play area to disinfect and minimize the potential for spread of the virus.

Public Precautions – Our Requests of You
Following the recommendations of King County authorities, we are asking the public to take the following precautions when visiting the Commons.

• Refrain from shaking hands, hugging, or other physical contact with others in the Commons.
• Wash your hands often and well with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds (Sing the “ABC Song” once through), and be sure to clean fingernails and cuticles, between fingers, and wrists.
• When soap and water is not immediately available, use the hand sanitizer stations or your own alcohol based sanitizers.
• Avoid touching your face.
• If you are in an especially vulnerable population (over 60, underlying health conditions, immuno-suppressed, or pregnant), please respect the recommendations of the public health authorities and consider staying home.
• If you are sick, stay home.

We love our Commons Community and there’s nothing we love more than gathering you together in our space. But we also love our community enough to want to keep you all safe and healthy! Therefore, we ask that all visitors follow these guidelines, even if they are not in the high risk groups themselves, in order to minimize transmission to those most at risk, both at the Commons and elsewhere.

Thank you all for your cooperation in helping us to keep our wonderful Commons Community both connected and safe during this period.

Amy Whittenburg
Executive Director