It’s time for another installment of of our special series COVID-19 Update, bringing you the latest developments on the novel coronavirus outbreak that public health authorities here and across the country are working to mitigate.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office sent cease and desist orders on May 19th, declaring violations of the state Consumer Protection Act, against two gyms – one in Puyallup and one in Arlington – that had been open in spite of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” stay at home order.
The co-owner of the gym in Arlington has said that he will join Tim Eyman in his lawsuit against the stay at home order. This is not the first set of violations – the state Department of Licensing recently revoked the cosmetology operator license of the owner of the Stag Barber Shop in Snohomish and served him with a cease-and-desist order for doing business without a salon shop license.
A Hobby Lobby and a Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts in Spokane, and two bars and a coffee shop in Spokane Valley have also been violating the stay at home order.
Governor Inslee’s response to these violations was clear.
Said Inslee: “There’s just no reason why certain people would think they’re kind of special, and they have certain rights that other citizens do not. They think they’re above the law, apparently… For some irresponsible business leaders to besmirch the ones that are responsible, that just will not stand.”
Four more tribal casinos, which are not under state jurisdiction, opened on Monday, May 18th. They joined three other casinos that opened on May 14th.
The facilities are allowing entry at between 30% and 50% of capacity, depending on the facility, have limited their food service options, and have kept closed their accompanying hotels and conference spaces.
As of this post, ten new counties in Washington state are being allowed to apply to operate under Phase 2 of the Safe Start Washington reopening process. Ten counties are already operating under Phase 2 of the process.
On Monday, May 18th, Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff granted a preliminary injunction Monday against Governor Kate Brown’s stay at home order. Governor Brown declared Oregon’s State of Emergency using ORS 401.165, which gives her broad powers in declaring a state emergency, but some of her more specific actions seem to be in line with ORS 433.441, proclaiming a public health emergency, which can last no more than 28 days and would likely require a re-convening of the state legislature to re-implement.
Judge Shirtcliff considered the latter to be the predominant statute in effect, and thus since more than 28 days have passed since the declaration of the State of Emergency, he declared it no longer in effect.
The Oregon state Supreme Court, later that evening, issued a temporary stay on the decision and is presently reviewing the case.
On May 14th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put out a press release cautioning about concerns with the accuracy of the Abbott ID NOW point of care test, which in one report was declared as possibly missing as many as 48% of infections through false negatives. These tests are in high use in eastern Idaho through a nonprofit organization, Crush the Curve.
Washington state has had 19,639 cases and 1,029 attributable deaths.
289,940 people have been tested.
Oregon has had 3,726 cases and 140 attributable deaths.
99,630 people have been tested.
Idaho has had 2,476 cases and 77 attributable deaths.
37,847 people have been tested.
British Columbia has had 2,446 cases and 146 attributable deaths.
125,044 people have been tested.