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Small community, big city struggles: Ferndale looks out for most vulnerable amid virus outbreak

Last Updated Mar 16, 2020 at 1:25 pm PDT

Ferndale, Wash. City Hall. (Source: Google Maps)

Smaller Washington state cities may not be seeing huge numbers of COVID-19 cases, but they’re still preparing

Ferndale is looking out for its most vulnerable citizens

According to the city, Ferndalians have stepped up to look out for one another during the virus pandemic

FERNDALE, Wash. (NEWS 1130) – As large cities around the world set up their own plans to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, some smaller communities are putting their focus on ensuring vulnerable populations are protected.

The focus in Ferndale, Washington, is going to be on making sure people like the elderly still have food and water, all while ensuring everyone else has access to them, too, explained Riley Sweeney with the city.

“It’s a lot of making sure that while everyone is hunkered down for the next several weeks, that they have access to food, medicine, and resources they need so we can all get through this together,” he said, adding the community is so far coming together.

Sweeney noted the best resources the city by the river has are Ferndalians.

“We’re a community that is used to looking after each other, founded by Pioneers, we are used to coming together in a crisis. I’m seeing some great neighbour-to-neighbour connections – checking up on people to make sure they’re safe,” Sweeney told NEWS 1130.

The city of about 14,000 is nestled right up against the Nooksak River. It’s a community that’s more acquainted to preparing for things like natural disasters – not pandemics. However, he draws some similarities between the two situations.

“We’re usually preparing for a large-scale flood, and when there’s a big flood, well, it knocks out a lot of our public facilities,” Sweeney explained. “So these are not unusual situations.”

The silver lining in the current case, if there is one, is that people can stay home, with the lights and internet still working.