NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Illegal openings, legal confusion and questionable tests

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.

Ore­gon is in the process of reopen­ing the state grad­u­al­ly using spec­i­fied guide­lines.


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.

Abbott Labs has respond­ed with a press release and by declar­ing the report an “out­lier,” with three oth­er stud­ies declar­ing the point of care test very accurate.

The hard, cold numbers

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.

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One Ping

  1. […] On Fri­day, June 12th, the Ore­gon Supreme Court found in favor of Gov­er­nor Kate Brown and ordered Bak­er Coun­ty Cir­cuit Court Judge Matthew Shirt­cliff to vacate his pre­lim­i­nary injunc­tion of May 18th, which declared Gov­er­nor Brown’s emer­gency actions, depend­ing on which sec­tion, invalid or expired. […]

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