COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
COVID-19 (Coronavirus; CDC graphic)

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.


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.


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.


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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