NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Monday, June 29th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Pacific Northwest embraces mandatory mask directives

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.

Wash­ing­ton

On Tues­day, June 23th, in response to the increase in cas­es of COVID-19 with­in mul­ti­ple coun­ties with­in the state of Wash­ing­ton, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee declared that, as of Fri­day, June 26th, a statewide manda­to­ry face mask order will be in effect. This will apply to all pub­lic indoor and out­door spaces.

The new direc­tive comes in the wake of Gov­er­nor Inslee’s order on June 22nd, which was spe­cif­ic to hard-hit Yaki­ma Coun­ty.

Lat­er that same day, Lewis Coun­ty Sher­iff Rob Snaza, while address­ing a group of res­i­dents in Napavine gath­ered against a protest against the near­by Uncle Sam sign adja­cent to Inter­state 5 (which did­n’t mate­ri­al­ize), stat­ed that if Gov­er­nor Inslee decid­ed that all cit­i­zens in Wash­ing­ton state should wear face masks, “Don’t be a sheep.” Sher­iff Snaza has since alleged­ly walked back his remarks, say­ing that he did­n’t say not to wear face masks.

Oregon

On Tues­day, June 23rd, the Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty report­ed that thir­ty-sev­en con­firmed cas­es of COVID-19 could be traced to Lamb West­on’s food pro­cess­ing facil­i­ty in Her­mis­ton.  The com­pa­ny had closed the facil­i­ty on June 15th for clean­ing, and the OHA start­ed its inves­ti­ga­tion on June 16th.

On Wednes­day, June 24th, the Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty’s set of face cov­er­ing rules for peo­ple with­in indoor pub­lic spaces took effect in sev­en coun­ties: Clacka­mas, Hood Riv­er, Lin­coln, Mar­i­on, Mult­nom­ah, Polk and Wash­ing­ton. Updat­ed guid­ance by the Ore­gon Health Author­i­ty for all oth­er coun­ties regard­ing face cov­er­ing took place on Thurs­day, June 25th.

Also on June 24th, the state leg­is­la­ture went into a spe­cial ses­sion request­ed by Gov­er­nor Kate Brown. Leg­is­la­tors were asked to extend res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial evic­tions result­ing from the pan­dem­ic, ini­tial­ly declared via exec­u­tive orders by Gov­er­nor Brown, for an addi­tion­al nine­ty days. Leg­is­la­tors were also asked to weigh poten­tial mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the state’s bud­get.

By the time the ses­sion had adjourned, some progress had been made.

Idaho

On Wednes­day, June 24th, the Ida­ho Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tion announced its first case of COVID-19 at the Ida­ho State Cor­rec­tion­al Cen­ter, a men’s prison in Kuna.

British Colum­bia

On Wednes­day, June 24th, Pre­mier John Hor­gan announced that British Colum­bia had ini­ti­at­ed Phase III of its reopen­ing plan.

A num­ber of tourism-relat­ed busi­ness, enter­tain­ment venues such as  movie the­aters, and the local film indus­try, under the guid­ance of the provin­cial health office and Work­SafeBC, will be allowed to reopen.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 33,391 cas­es and 1,320 attrib­ut­able deaths.

548,222 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ore­gon has had 8,485 cas­es and 204 attrib­ut­able deaths.

235,133 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ida­ho has had 5,752 cas­es and 91 attrib­ut­able deaths.

88,763 peo­ple have been test­ed.

British Colum­bia has had 2,904 cas­es and 174 attrib­ut­able deaths.

192,432 peo­ple have been test­ed.

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