BREAKING NEWS …  According to Senator Ann Rivers (18th Legislative District), whose office was briefed today by the Employment Security Department (ESD), the unemployment check fraud case is now approaching $1 billion in lost state funds.

Originally, the suspected fraud loss was $350 million.

“The ESD fraud case is beyond anything originally suspected,” said Rivers. “Nearly $1 billion has been lost to Nigeria and other fraudsters.”

Rivers said the people of Washington have been subject to a series of data breaches over the last several years, which includes Zappos, Primera Blue Cross, and Equifax. This past year, Rivers was the Senate Republican lead on the Data Privacy Bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate, but was blocked in the House.

“I knew this was going to be a problem,” said Rivers. “The partisan breakdown in the House is what killed this bill. I worked it very hard. I knew we had to act, and this is unfortunate.”

The bill would have locked down the state’s consumer data to prevent hacking, requiring two-factor authentication, among other security measures.

“The hackers have been waiting for the right moment to attack an underprepared Employment Security Division,” said Rivers. “COVID gave them that opportunity. My office was overwhelmed with calls of people needing help filing unemployment.”

Today, Rivers was notified by ESD that each caucus can help only 20 people per week. 

“I was able to get in and help people get the unemployment benefits they deserve, and I was told by ESD I can only help one person a week,” Rivers said. “This is ludricious. Period. That’s like saying to a mother with five children on the Titanic she now must choose her favorite child.”

Rivers said the state needs to act.

“It’s not enough to label the problem, we need to change the leadership to right this ship,” said Rivers. “Families desperately need this money and they’re not getting it.”

 Suzie LaVine is the current ESD Director. 

Rivers is pushing for a special legislative session in June, and that the Republican caucus will demand LaVine’s termination. 

More to come.

Gov. Jay Inslee today activated an additional 200 members of the Washington National Guard in response to a second request from the City of Seattle to help clean up, protect against property damage, and manage crowds and traffic during downtown protests, which resulted in riots. Guard personnel will be unarmed and work under the direction of City of Seattle leadership.

The additional guard personnel were activated by a letter from the governor to Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, the day after demonstrations in Seattle protesting the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this week turned into destructive riots.

Inslee this morning issued the following statement:

“Saturday’s disheartening events in Seattle – carried out by a smattering of the thousands of protesters on hand – will not deter the cause of justice. Hundreds of public servants and volunteers are already helping clean up the property damage done. I have complete faith that downtown Seattle will recover from this quickly, and the state will help, however we may be of assistance.

“Thousands were protesting peacefully against an atrocious act of brutality. This cause confronts a different kind of destruction, one that can’t be fixed with new windows, graffiti-scrubbed walls or insurance. The message behind the demonstration was compelling and one all of us should share. We will not allow vandalism and destruction to obscure the protest’s central call for justice.

“On behalf of all Washingtonians who believe in justice, I want to thank the protesters who carried a peaceful and important message. We all also owe gratitude to law enforcement, fire fighters, medics, National Guard and volunteers who are working to protect the city and its people.”

Read the letter here.

Riots
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Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee announced Friday the state’s phased reopening “Safe Start” proclamation is replacing the existing emergency “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which is set to expire on May 31. 

The new order loosens several aspects of his shelter in place policy, which began in March, but it also asks Washingtonians to voluntarily wear face masks while at work, or in public settings.

During the presser Inslee said he is updating the metric of requiring there to be no more than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in past 14 days, from 10 cases per 100,00 residents.

The new proclamation is likely to speed up efforts to reopen parts of Washington under the governor’s four-phase recovery plan. 

His new plan makes it easier for businesses in more populous counties to move phases, and to evaluate more on a county-by-county basis. No county is yet in Phase 3. Twenty-six counties are in Phase 2. Clark County’s application to move to Phase 2 is on pause, pending a full review of last week’s coronavirus outbreak at a fruit processing plant in Vancouver.

“This is a path that will have more businesses opening,” said Inslee. “It will mean more activities will be allowed, and more flexibility will be allowed for counties in a variety of phases.”

Inslee also encouraged all Washingtonians to wear face coverings in public.

“When we wear a face covering, I really think it’s an expression of love and affection,” he said. “It’s a badge of commitment, and it’s a critical tool in moving forward.”

Face masks
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As part of this plan, workers in Washington will have to wear facial coverings at their jobs, unless they don’t have in-person interactions. That part of the provision will take effect June 8.

Washington’s largest counties, facing higher COVID-19 infection rates have largely remained in Phase 1 of Inslee’s plan. Friday’s order should change that.

The guidance at work places is as follows:

  • Workers are required to wear face coverings.
  • Employers must provide face coverings.
  • Stores will encourage shoppers to wear face coverings by posting signs.

Dr. John Lynch, an infectious disease doctor from Harborview Medical Center, said: “This is just one of many things to help each other. A lot of people have minimal symptoms or don’t even know they’re sick, it’s like influenza. Putting on a mask is effective at capturing droplets.”

Lynch said face masks “are not a perfect tool” and added “if we wear this it shows we are supporting each other, and we know we can’t wear the masks all the time.”

Inslee likened this new approach to prevent the virus from coming back rapidly. 

“We’re getting out of the quarantine lifeboat,” Inslee said. “The science on the cloth mask is more conclusive that they (face coverings) do help.”

Inslee said the order does not require business owners to reject a customer who is not wearing a face mask.

Senator Ann Rivers, who represents Washington’s 18 legislative district, said: “By today’s guidelines set by Governor Inslee Clark County could open, but the official approval from the Secretary of Health Weisman to move to Phase 2 is still on pause. Now, with that said our Clark County Director of Health is really pushing Weisman to open as soon as possible.”

Effective today, Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal is officially reopened. 

“It is critical to continue to comply with physical distancing protocols during the upcoming warm weather forecast and to be respectful of our neighbors,” said the city of Washougal in a statement. ”Please do not park vehicles in the surrounding neighborhoods to access this park. Parking is prohibited on Shephard Road and citations will be issued for noncompliance. Parking is available in the off-street parking lot.“

Park users are expected to follow physical-distancing and safety protocols including:

  • Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails.
  • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass.
  • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended physical distancing of six-feet from other persons not from your household at all times.
  • If you are not able to maintain physical-distancing guidelines while visiting a park, please go home and try to come again at another time.

As a reminder:

  • All City of Washougal parks, trails and open areas remain open.
  • All City of Washougal park restrooms will remain closed until further notice. We are working on enhanced sanitation protocols to allow us to re-open the restrooms.
  • All play structures remain closed until further notice.
  • Steamboat Landing Dock remains closed until further notice.

For the latest updates on the City of Washougal’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit cityofwashougal.us/COVID19.

Washougal
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Dr. Jeff Snell, Superintendent of Camas School District, recently answered several questions about that state of the district as it navigates this COVID-19 pandemic.

How has this transition from in-school to at-home learning been going?

Overall, I think we’re happy about the transition. We just had a two-day window to convert. We are learning a lot. Each teacher has learned a lot. It’s a work in progress.

Some things are working well, some are not.

You have to try and take risks to get to success. I’m glad that families and students are taking risks. The class meetings have been successful, and it’s good to see each other’s faces. The ability to record lessons and drive home key concepts is what we’re excited about. We are working toward personalizing things for students. 

For example, if a teacher is doing a math lesson and there’s a key concept about finding the Y intercept of the line that teacher can make mini-videos about how to do that. Students will then be able to go back and learn. During the school year, it’s hard to find the time to do that. This has created a pause to help make different building blocks to help them learn. They are thinking differently.

I think every teacher is working harder than they’ve ever been. You take a job you’ve done for 20 years and everything is flipped upside down.

What’s the status of Food Services? Are we meeting the need? 

We have a couple of separate programs going on.  One is our food services program through our schools.  They are serving breakfast and lunch to students through pick up locations.  The number of students we’re serving has grown each week as we find new families.  We have about 10 bus routes that deliver meals and our food service staff prepares those meals.  We have been averaging over 5500 meals a week and will top the 50,000 meal mark on Monday. 

We also have a food bank type of program going on at the Jack, Will, and Rob center.  Our community has stepped up and been so generous with their donations. Our current inventory is good, and the needs continue to grow.  We’ve receive money donations and have about 10-12 volunteer shoppers that go out and purchase items to keep the inventory up to date. 

What’s happening with graduation?

We are delivering a virtual graduation for June 12-13 for both high schools. We’ve been making a lot of other plans with students and parents, and we are trying to be creative by meeting those needs. Phase two gives us a little more flexibility. Depending on whatever phase we’re in we’re hoping to be able to scale up the activities.  Many have shared how important it is to them to walk across a stage and receive their diploma so we’re looking at a date in early August to hopefully be able to do that. We are also targeting Homecoming in the Fall to start some new traditions like a grad walk before a football game. We are trying to have multiple dates and opportunities so we can try to meet the needs of graduates and their families.

How has the pandemic affected the Camas School District budget?

We engage with our local elected officials and we’re on weekly webinars with the state superintendent, and from what they’re saying the budget deficit continues to grow. I think the next three to four years could be very difficult. Public education is more than half of the state budget. We’re at the mercy of enrollment and the state budget.  There could be a special session this year, and there will likely be an impact in the coming school years so it’s important for us to be thoughtful about our spending now and how we save for the future too.

I think everyone is a little worried about what the future holds. We try to do the best we can given the budgets we’ve been given. We want to maintain the staffing levels going into next year, because of the need of students.  It is likely that we will need to help catch students up a bit, and we’ll need each of our staff to do that, so our plan for next year’s budget is to really maintain our staffing levels.  The 2021 legislative session will be the first year of the biennium with new budgets that most likely will be impacted by the pandemic, so we could definitely have to address reductions at the state level in planning for the 2021-22 school year. 

What will Camas schools look like this Fall?

The state has set up a task force to address that and what they’ve been looking at is a range of seven models. They look at all spectrums from where we are now, and what it might look like in late August. They have told us in June we will get some guidelines from them, so we’re looking at these issues with leadership and staff. We will be having a Town Hall on June 4 to share some of our planning work and listen to ideas and concerns from the community.  We want to be thoughtful about planning for the future, recognizing how significant the events this spring have been for everyone.

What about mental health and supporting parents with at-home learning?

This is a really important focus for us.  We started off communicating with families a lot about the logistical what and now  we’re shifting to tips for conversations with students and more the how.  We’re learning a lot about what’s working and what’s not and we want to share that information. 

Regarding students in crisis: We ask teachers to reach out to each student and monitor how they’re doing.  If we don’t hear from them we’ve been trying do the phone call or even go and knock on doors to make sure everything is OK. Everything is amplified in the home.  It’s hard right now as parents are trying to figure out work, the future and help their students.  We are trying to pay attention to that. I feel like right now it’s pretty similar to what we were experiencing before. If it was on the radar before, it’s on the radar now. When you physically see students in the classroom you had a sense of the situation, but not virtually we don’t have that so we have to really pay attention to students who may be in need. 

We have a great staff; they’re working really hard. It’s been very challenging for everyone. We have the opportunity to re-invent. You see some kids flourishing in these challenging times. We will come through this as a better school district.

Snell is going on his fourth year as Superintendent of Camas Schools. To learn more what is happening in Camas schools, visit www.camas.wednet.edu

Vancouver — Last week, Clark County submitted an application to be approved to move into Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s recovery plan. An outbreak at a local fruit processing plant put that application on hold, and local health officials continue to investigate the situation, and are actively working to keep the community safe through contact tracing and other methods.

Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County Health Director, and the Clark Regional Emergency Operations Center, continue to provide updates. Here’s a look at the Clark County numbers.

  • Number of positive tests: 510
  • Number of deaths: 25
  • Number of people tested: 8,834
  • Number of contacts on monitoring: 230
  • Male deaths: 16
  • Female deaths: 9
  • Deaths aged 80+: 17
  • Deaths aged 70-79: 5
  • Deaths aged 60-69: 2
  • Deaths aged 40-49: 1
  • Long-term care facility associated deaths: 16
  • Donated N95 masks: 5,124
  • Donated surgical masks: 3,124
  • Donated masks (other): 10,147
  • Donated gloves: 102,235

Statewide Numbers

  • Number of individuals tested: 330,598
  • Number of positive tests: 20,065
  • Number of hospitalizations: 3,290
  • Number of deaths: 1,070
Coronavirus
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Law Enforcement

Crime data updates from Clark County Sheriff’s Office for Week 20 includes the following:

  • Harassment Calls fell for the first time in four weeks of unusually high call numbers, but still remains slightly higher than normal.
  • Brandishing Calls (knives and other weapons) are again much higher than usual for this time of year.
  • Restraining Orders remain higher than normal and are typical, where offenders are attempting to contact victims who have a legal right to be left alone.
  • Auto Prowl calls are again on the higher slide of normal, but only about half of the calls are resulting in actual police reports. Citizens are opting to fill out online reports but aren’t following through.

Clark County Traffic Data

Clark County
2019 vs. 2020

In his press conference today, Governor Jay Inslee said that religious congregations throughout Washington can gradually return to normal worship services, as he explained new state guidance.

Inslee said that in-person religious gatherings are allowed to resume with restrictions that adhere to physical distancing and safety practices to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The governor’s new guidance lines up with the first and second phases of his recovery plan.

For example, in Clark County, which is currently in Phase 1, outdoor religious services on church property would be allowed for up to 100 people. Counties in Phase 2 — such as Cowlitz, Skamania, and Lewis — would be allowed to have in-church services at 25 percent capacity, or with no more than 50 congregants. The new Phase 2 guidance also permits in-house services or counseling at a congregant’s residence, as long as it includes five or fewer people. The new guidance applied to religious services, study groups, ceremonies, and holiday celebrations.

Inslee urged appropriate physical distancing and face masks, and said there should be six feet between seats, frequent cleaning and sanitization, and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) available at all times.

The governor said the ban has been a challenge for people of all religions acknowledging that “people treasure gatherings.”

“Obviously (the religious communities) are protecting their own flock, their own congregation … but they’re protecting everybody outside, of multiple faiths,” Inslee remarked. “This is truly an all-faiths issue.”

TUMWATER, WA — Washington businesses that decide to open or operate in direct violation of Gov. Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order may be cited and fined for unsafe workplace conditions under emergency rules filed today by the state Department of Labor & Industries. L&I filed these new rules at the direction of Inslee.

”The closure order and the Safe Start Plan to reopen businesses are in place to keep workers and the public safe and to prevent the spread of the easily transmissible coronavirus,” said L&I in a statement today.

The emergency rules take effect immediately. They give the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) the authority to cite businesses for being open or for operating in a way that is purposely defying the phased-in approach and, as a result, putting their workers at risk.

“We’re all in this together, and most businesses are doing the right thing for our state and our communities. Unfortunately, there are some that are choosing not to,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks. “The coronavirus is a known workplace hazard and businesses must follow the requirements to keep their workers and the public safe.”

Protecting Worker Safety

L&I said they will work with the state Emergency Operations Center to take in and respond to complaints about businesses that are operating illegally. If employers are found to be defying the Governor’s order, they’ll be informed and directed to close or adjust operations immediately. If they do not, they’ll face a workplace safety citation that could carry a fine of nearly $10,000 or more.

Along with contacting businesses by phone and in writing, L&I will perform in-person spot checks on some of the businesses to make sure they are following through and complying with the Safe Start requirements.

Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell shared a message about his first six months in office during last week’s City Council meeting. You may also watch it here: https://youtu.be/F4WjalWGgf4

Here is the transcript of the speech:

The last six months have been, by far, the most challenging six months of my life. Learning and doing this job while also maintaining my full-time job, along with staying connected with my wife and children, is a juggling act I am constantly, actively working at. That challenge is even more compounded by a few other factors.

First, Camas is currently operating without a City Administrator. Now, I will own that impediment as it was my decision to go in a different direction, but it still has made it challenging. The City Admin position is the biggest, and I believe, the most important non-elected position in Camas. The good news is that we still have the money budgeted for the position and that we have had plenty of applicants for the job. We are starting to go through those this week to narrow it down to the right candidate.

Secondly, and as everyone is aware, there is an unprecedented global pandemic going on with COVID-19. The good news on that front is that our healthcare system has not been overrun by this disease. The bad news is that it has destroyed a lot of small businesses and our economy as a whole. Right now, we are focused on getting through the next couple of weeks, and we look forward to entering Phase 2 and starting to open our city back up. After we get through this, I think it will be important to look back and see what could have been done differently at a local, State, National, and global level once we have all the information in front of us. But until then, my focus is on managing us through these times the best that we can.

When I stood up to offer myself to this position, what I saw as the biggest challenge in Camas was around communication. First and foremost, our website is not that great – it’s something the City is working on, and right before we went into this stay at home order, we were on the way to doing that. But it needs a total overhaul, which we have already started the process. I feel confident that we can have the new updated website up and running by the end of the year.

People can’t get involved to make a difference unless they have the correct facts, and they have trusted sources to get them from. That’s what I intend for this new version of our website to provide. I want to make it more accessible to find and get correct information about what’s happening in our town. I want people to know how they can participate in ways that get results, that help our community, that strengthens us all. Camas is a small town, but I believe that together our community can do big things.

Camas is an old town with deep and honorable roots. And I am honored to be part of this town and to help lead this town. I believe myself and my team are all leading with positive values, and respect is at the forefront of those values. I understand that these are challenging times, and emotions can run high – however, I have an expectation that everyone communicates in a respectful way.

I have set that tone with my staff and with the Council, and I have the same expectation for our citizens. We can and may disagree on things; however, this can be done in a productive way where both sides present themselves with respectful candor and not contempt.

I recognize that I am not your typical Mayor. For one, I came into this position with zero government or political experience. This was not even something on my bucket list – I never dreamt that I would be the Mayor of our city. But the timing was right, and thanks to the support of many of you, I will be holding this office for the next three and a half years. I’ve committed myself to a single four-year term in office, and I believe I can accomplish a lot in that time frame. And as your Mayor, there are a lot of things that I want to accomplish.

When my term is up, my biggest hope is – and I need to believe – that there will be quality candidates who are willing to stand up and put themselves out there to be the next Mayor or Council member, people who are willing to invest their time for the betterment of Camas’ community, people who care enough about our town to ensure we protect what is important. My dream is to inspire future candidates who will take that leap of faith because they care for and believe in the health and strength of our community, they believe the way Camas looks and feels is important, and they believe that they have the ability to do what it takes to help our town move forward in a positive way. People that make it about Camas and not themselves. Inspiring people who think this way to a call to action for our town will be the biggest gauge of how I measure my success as Mayor.

Last fall, I decided to stand up for this position because I was frustrated that no one else would. And on that journey, I met with many enthusiastic and energized citizens of Camas as I asked them to vote for me as a write-in candidate. But in those same conversations I also told them not to write my name down unless they were planning to get involved too. I knew at the time, and it is abundantly clear to me now that I cannot do this job alone; in order for our city to be successful, we have to work together and keep working together. Camas needs our citizens to show up, too. In three years, if we don’t have good people, quality candidates, to pick up where I will be dropping off, I will have failed. My job in the next three and a half years is to get people to give a damn and show up – and to show up with optimism.

Under normal circumstances, the biggest contingency of people who show up to City functions are the people who are upset, who only get involved when they are angry about a specific issue. I know this particularly well because not long ago, my wife was one of those people. The first time I went to a City Council meeting was when Stacy came down to complain about losing the Crown Park pool. That was my first experience with Council meetings, and to be honest with you, my first experience with local government. It was frustrating for Stacy not getting a satisfying answer from the City, and ultimately she ended up having no impact for our beloved Crown Park pool. It was frustrating for me; I saw the communication between our City and ourselves as a one-way street. We were both ignorant to the processes. We did not know what a Council meeting was but had an expectation that this is where you went to get answers.

Now, as Mayor, I recognize there needs to be a place for citizens to publicly interact with their elected officials, and I have come to recognize that our City Council meetings are not the ideal place for this as these are specifically set up as a time for Council to approve the policies and budgets that must be held in public. That is the purpose of these meetings.

Two council meetings ago, I said that we would start posting the questions online that we had received in meetings so that everyone would have access to the responses. What I didn’t anticipate was turning the meetings into a question and answer section at the beginning and end as well as creating some potential public request issues along the way. It’s also a terrible format for questions and answers. Ultimately, I feel like it’s important to have an actual dialogue with citizens and that creating a separate place for that is the way to go. At the same time, we need a better way of communicating questions and answers in a more streamlined fashion. We are working on this as a component with our City’s website. During meetings, we will continue to follow up with individuals with questions to get results, but I need to find a better format and forum to do so. The last two weeks have been extremely busy, and I still have the questions from last meeting and will get them updated soon.

But because these meetings are a challenging place to have a meaningful conversation, starting this summer I will be rolling out a new type of meeting, an open town hall AMA (Ask the Mayor Anything) with the ability for our citizens to engage with myself and other leaders in our town on a regular basis in a space that’s designed for open conversations. I believe this will be a more effective way for all of us to communicate and would be something that Council members will be able to join me on a regular basis going forward, too. As of this moment, I am unsure as to how I will roll it all out currently, but I am looking forward to it and will get the information out to you as we firm up the plans.

So, we have a lot going on in Camas right now. Not everything is perfect, but we are constantly working together toward identifying our issues and solving our problems. And I think it’s very important to emphasize both sides of that equation – that with as many moving parts as there are to an entire city, there will always be things that need to be fixed, and conversely, that myself and my team are actively making improvements to make Camas a better place to live, work, and enjoy, too. It’s important not to get caught up in emotions on a singular issue; it’s important to keep a perspective of all the moving parts – to see and acknowledge all of the good that we have going on in this City. It is important to not only be realistic but optimistic, to be engaged, to be thoughtful, and to be respectful, and now is a time more than ever that we as neighbors and friends in Camas need to come together and work together as we go through these strange times and help each work together to build a future we can all enjoy. We are all here because this is a place we love and enjoy living in, because we want the best for this place and our community. I know that’s why you’re here, too, and Camas absolutely needs you, our citizens, as part of our equation for success.

Thank you for your time and your vote of confidence, I’m pretty sure I went over my three minutes there. I am happy to be, and even though my hair is a little bit greyer than it was last fall, I am still very optimistic for what the future of Camas can be when we all work together. And I truly believe we can.”

Vancouver, WA – Clark County Public Health was notified today that the state has put the county’s request for a Phase 2 variance on pause until further discussion next week. The decision is the result of a current COVID-19 outbreak at a Vancouver food processing facility.

As of this morning, 38 employees of Firestone Pacific Foods in Vancouver have tested positive for COVID-19. At least two of those people are not Clark County residents. One person has been hospitalized.

“While this outbreak is unfortunate, our response demonstrates we have the confidence and capability to respond to situations like this,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

Public Health has been working closely with Firestone Pacific Foods, Washington Labor & Industries and The Vancouver Clinic in response to the outbreak. Public Health instructed Firestone to stop production on Tuesday to prevent the virus from continuing to spread among employees. There is currently no evidence COVID-19 can spread through food or food packaging.

Production at the facility remains stopped. Public Health is working with Firestone and Labor & Industries to develop a plan to help the facility better align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public Health also coordinated with The Vancouver Clinic and Firestone to facilitate COVID-19 testing of all employees. That testing began Friday afternoon. Prior to beginning the facility-wide testing, 12 cases had been identified in the outbreak. Another 26 positive results were reported to Public Health Friday afternoon, after facility-wide testing began.

Everyone who tests positive is instructed to isolate at home. Public Health staff is interviewing all positive cases to identify and notify close contacts, who will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. This process is ongoing for the cases identified Friday.

“Public Health has gone above and beyond in its response to this outbreak,” said Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring. “As our community moves forward, whether next week or in the weeks that follow, we may unfortunately see more positive cases. Public Health’s efforts during this outbreak show they have the ability to effectively respond to outbreaks in order to keep our community healthy.”

Clark
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Testing of Firestone employees is expected to continue today. Public Health will provide another update on case numbers on Tuesday.

Practicing physical distancing and taking simple steps to prevent the spread of viruses remain important. Remember to wash hands frequently, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water isn’t available, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and stay home when you’re sick. If you cannot stay at least 6 feet from others when out in public, you should wear a cloth face covering.

As a result of the state’s decision, Clark County remains in Phase 1. Residents and businesses should continue to follow the Phase 1 guidance outlined by the governor. Phase 2 guidance is also available on the governor’s website. Local businesses can refer to this guidance to prepare for reopening, however, they should not begin offering services until the county is moved into Phase 2.

Public Health does not have a timeline on when Clark County may enter Phase 2.

For more information about COVID-19 and the Public Health response, visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus