Update: Conference cancelled; join us for our ENGAGE Mid-Month Trainings!
March 16, 2020
Dear ECPG Members, Partners, Supporters, Friends, and Colleagues:
Together over the years, we have devoted our work, our skills, and our passion to awareness, treatment, and training of important Public Health issues. Today, challenges and quickly changing information about the public health issues surrounding COVID-19 must be a priority. Keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities healthy should be everyone’s concern and everyone’s goal.
In Washington State, Governor Inslee has expanded protections against COVID-19 for the foreseeable future:
“…all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease.”
These prohibitions are in place for the next eight weeks at minimum. In light of these expanded protections, the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling must postpone our Focus on the Future conference and Northwest Recovery Symposium. I would say it is not an easy decision, but it truly is – because it is the most ethical step we can take as your partner, your colleague, and your fellow community member. Nothing is more important than your health and safety, and the need to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
This does not mean that it isn’t a hard choice – it is. That said, our health authorities need – we all need – this time to help reduce transmission and gain resilience while we seek answers. We hope to simply postpone both the Focus on the Future conference and the Northwest Recovery Symposium – how long, we do not know. Some people have asked if we might be able to offer some of the sessions via webinars. We will certainly be happy to look into these possibilities. Currently, there is no definitive path as we begin discussions and review our options with our hotel hosts, our presenters, and our conference partners.
We will certainly keep you apprised of options, next steps, and additional information as it becomes available. Until then, Thank You, for your understanding and your support. These are unprecedented times, and all of our decisions will be made with the health and safety of all of you in mind.
Maureen L. Greeley