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, July 20th, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Governor Jay Inslee’s emergency powers affirmed by federal judge

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 Wednes­day, July 15th, a law­suit chal­leng­ing the emer­gency orders issued by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee in response to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic by Slide­wa­ters (a water park in Chelan Coun­ty that has remained open in vio­la­tion of state law) was dis­missed by Judge Thomas Rice of the East­ern Dis­trict Court of Wash­ing­ton.

The case was remand­ed to Chelan Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court so that the state of Wash­ing­ton may seek a declara­to­ry judge­ment that Slide­wa­ters is in vio­la­tion of the procla­ma­tions, to enjoin them from fur­ther oper­a­tion, and to seek finan­cial dam­ages for relat­ed costs and attor­ney’s fees.

On Fri­day, July 17th, Home Depot required that cus­tomers in all its stores must wear masks with­in them, and that spe­cif­ic store per­son­nel would be assigned to enforce com­pli­ance in each store. The move comes after numer­ous reports of non­com­pli­ance at Home Depot stores in south King Coun­ty and por­tions of Pierce Coun­ty, and a recent report about non­com­pli­ance at their Tuk­wila store.

Lat­er that same evening, a small group led by mil­i­tant right wing extrem­ist Joey Gib­son of Patri­ot Prayer held a demon­stration at Spokane Region­al Health Offi­cer Dr. Bob Lutz’s house for enforc­ing mask-wear­ing rules issued by Gov­er­nor Inslee and the state Depart­ment of Health.

On Sun­day, July 19th, nine hun­dred and twen­ty new cas­es of COVID-19 were con­firmed with­in Wash­ing­ton state. On Mon­day, July 20th, sev­en hun­dred and nine­ty sev­en new cas­es of COVID-19 were con­firmed with­in Wash­ing­ton state. Every coun­ty with­in the state has now had at least one con­firmed case.

The Depart­ment of Health says it’s con­cerned that the state is on a path towards “run­away growth” in COVID-19 cas­es.

Oregon

There were a record four hun­dred and thir­ty-sev­en new con­firmed cas­es of COVID-19 in the Beaver State on Thurs­day, July 16th, and anoth­er four hun­dred and thir­ty-six on Sun­day, July 19th.

Repub­li­can offi­cials are ask­ing that Clacka­mas Coun­ty not be sub­ject­ed to the same restric­tions as Mult­nom­ah and Wash­ing­ton coun­ties. This is unlike­ly, though, as one of the first cas­es in Clacka­mas Coun­ty was from a Wash­ing­ton Coun­ty res­i­dent, and Clacka­mas Coun­ty, like rur­al coun­ties in Ore­gon, is suf­fer­ing from increased rates of infec­tion, which is strain­ing local resources.

Mean­while, Mult­nom­ah Coun­ty, which includes the city of Port­land, is strug­gling to keep up with trac­ing and test­ing require­ments.

Idaho

On Thurs­day, July 16th, Ammon Bundy, lead­ing a group of demon­stra­tors that declared itself Peo­ple’s Rights, attempt­ed to force their way into the facil­i­ty where South­west Dis­trict Health nor­mal­ly holds their meet­ings.

After Bundy suc­cess­ful­ly forced his way in, he found that the meet­ing was being held remote­ly. Bundy demand­ed that in-per­­son pub­lic com­ment be tak­en, but this demand was reject­ed and the meet­ing was resched­uled, where­upon Bundy and his group of mil­i­tant right wing fol­low­ers left the build­ing.

On Fri­day, July 17th, the the Pan­han­dle Health Dis­trict declined Fri­day to adopt a mask man­date in the midst of demon­stra­tions against the move by mem­bers of the pub­lic and resis­tance by mem­bers of its own Board of Health.

Bon­neville Coun­ty (which includes the city of Ida­ho Falls) may have to make out­side wear­ing of masks manda­to­ry, accord­ing to East­ern Ida­ho Pub­lic Health.

There were five hun­dred and fifty new cas­es of COVID-19 on Sat­ur­day, July 18th, and five hun­dred and sev­en­ty-one new cas­es of COVID-19 on Sun­day, July 19th.

British Colum­bia

One hun­dred and two new cas­es of COVID-19 were con­firmed with­in the province dur­ing the past week­end, with Provin­cial Health Offi­cer Dr. Bon­nie Hen­ry (who deliv­ers reg­u­lar updates about the pan­dem­ic) warn­ing: “We do have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of hav­ing explo­sive growth here in our out­break, if we’re not care­ful.”

Almost 4,400 peo­ple are being referred to enforce­ment author­i­ties with­in the province for pos­si­bly not fol­low­ing through with their required four­teen day quar­an­tine after entry into Cana­da through British Colum­bia.

The hard, cold numbers

Wash­ing­ton state has had 49,225 cas­es and 1,464 attrib­ut­able deaths.

826,354 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ore­gon has had 14,847 cas­es and 262 attrib­ut­able deaths.

339,282 peo­ple have been test­ed.

Ida­ho has had 15,266 cas­es and 122 attrib­ut­able deaths.

150,142 peo­ple have been test­ed.

British Colum­bia has had 3,300 cas­es and 189 attrib­ut­able deaths.

236,669 peo­ple have been test­ed.​

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