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OLYMPIA, Wash — Governor Jay Inslee extended the state’s stay home order through May 4, which is one month past the original “stay home, stay healthy” end date.

Inslee said that the Department of Health (DOH) data collected on the spread of the novel coronavirus shows cases are still on the rise in Washington state.

“We unfortunately have yet to see the full weight of this virus in our state. This order is not only justified, it is morally necessary,” he said. “We are confident in the steps we have taken but we cannot lose steam in the middle of this fight. May 4th is the soonest that we could possibly achieve our ends to keep our loved ones safe.”

The stay home order was originally issued on March 23, and initially was slated to end this week. Inslee said there was a possibility that the mandate could be extended after May 4.

“Let’s pitch in to make it the last date.” 

The DOH said the following today:

”Our social distancing efforts are beginning to ‘flatten the curve‘ here in Washington. Models from the University of Washington suggest that we may see 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 in this state, and it is clear that more people will die if our social distancing efforts stop right now. That’s why, today, Gov. Inslee extended his ’Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order for another month until May 4. By staying home, we are keeping our communities as healthy as we can. We are slowing down the spread of the virus and buying more time for the state to build hospital capacity.“

Numbers.  DOH has had some technical difficulties, but the latest numbers are now updated. As of 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 79,418 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 6,585 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 262 have died of the disease.

“We must continue this isolating act of community togetherness—staying in our homes as much as possible to protect ourselves and people we love. While we are at home, let’s pay attention to the reasons we are doing this. Connect with the people you love. Make online purchases from the small businesses that give your community life. Order takeout from the restaurants you miss the most. Notice the gifts we’ve given the earth in this time—the skies in famously smoggy Los Angeles are clear and blue. The carbon monoxide emissions in New York City are down 50 percent compared to last year this time.”

“Let’s take care of ourselves and our relationships. Think about how you want to emerge from this crisis. Rested, looking forward to opportunities to be with your loved ones, ready to keep the air clean by working at home more often. Take care of your body with nourishing foods, lots of sleep, deep breaths, and exercise. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you energy and joy: clean, cook, nurture, garden, sing, play games, create, love, read, write. Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything. Take care of your mental health. If you feel so overwhelmed you struggle to get through the day, call your health care provider, therapist, or mental health provider and set up a telemedicine appointment. Check out these resources to help support your mental health or that of a loved one:”

And if you are in crisis, don’t hesitate to call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 866-427-4747 or text HEAL to 741741 to get confidential text access to a trained crisis counselor any time of the day or night.

Roundabout
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The Washington Department of Health hasn’t been able to accurately report negative COVID-19 results since March 28, and issued this statement Tuesday evening:

We are working to ensure daily numbers are posted on time. Here’s some context about recent challenges:

  • The Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS) is used to report notifiable conditions.
  • Outside a pandemic, only positive results would be reported.
  • WDRS is now tracking negative results for COVID-19. This volume is overwhelming the tool.
  • We have worked with the vendor supporting WDRS to increase capacity.
  • We are also investigating additional solutions, which may include:
    • A separate reporting tool for negative results (roughly 93% of the data at this time).
    • Automating deduplication work performed manually each day. One day last week, more than 2,000 duplicate results were removed to ensure accurate, reliable numbers.

DOH will share additional updates if this problem persists. We cannot provide an estimate for the next release of numbers, but are working diligently toward that goal.

This week, DOH made several new data points available. Our website now includes visualizations showing confirmed cases, the epidemiological curve, cumulative case and death counts, testing numbers, and demographic information. Also coming soon is hospitalization data.

We are working closely with Microsoft to optimize the user experience for this data, including for those without a high-speed connection or those working from a mobile device.

Lacamas Magazine will continue to update any news about issues with this health reporting tool.

Roundabout
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Effective immediately, the City of Camas has closed the parking lots at all Camas parks and trailheads until further notice to reduce crowds, limit group interaction and encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Trails, open grass areas and green spaces remain open but may only be accessed by foot, bike or other means not requiring parking in the lot.

“I appreciate the many benefits of being outside, enjoying our trails and green spaces,” said Mayor Barry McDonnell, “but we must continue to social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

Individuals should not call 911 to report others in noncompliance and should avoid confrontations over enforcement.

The City is closely monitoring all COVID-19-related guidance from local and state agencies and has enacted several changes as a result. Last week, the City closed all parks facilities, including play structures, sports fields, sports courts, picnic shelters and restrooms.

Parks
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Earlier this month, Camas City Hall, Camas Public Library and all other municipal buildings have also been closed to the public.

“I know we will get through this,” stated McDonnell. “And if everyone does their part, we’ll get through it even faster.”

The City will continue to monitor newly released information to determine additional modifications as needed.

  • To access to city services, patrons can visit www.cityofcamas.us, call 360-834-6864 or use the CamasConnect app.

In order to meet public health recommendations for protecting citizens and employees, parks
maintenance crews have been split and are working every-other-week shifts. During this time, the
City’s park lawns will continue to be mowed, though potentially less frequently, and garbage will
still be collected to uphold the health and safety of public spaces. Other routine tasks will be
deferred.

Healthcare workers and first responders serving on the frontlines to help people amid the COVID-19 outbreak are in desperate need of personal protective equipment and other specific medical supplies.  In the past week, hospitals, Public Health, the Emergency Operations Center, and community leaders have put out pleas into our community to locate any unused items. 

In response to businesses and individuals offering supplies, Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA) and Clark County Public Health have opened a COVID Supply Warehouse  and a streamlined donation process to receive and manage those supplies of specific personal protective equipment (PPE). Volunteers of local Search and Rescue teams are staffing the supply warehouse and working closely with CRESA personnel.                                

“The response we are receiving is a reflection of the generous community wide support that exists in Clark County. We have such an extensive need for basic supplies in our medical facilities and for our emergency responders, and we cannot rely solely on state and/or federal sources to meet them. Corporate donors have taken stock of their own needs and are working with us to help fill the gaps,” said Robin Albrandt, Emergency Preparedness & Response Regional Coordinator and Program Manager, Clark County Public Health.

For the health safety and security of the warehouse volunteers and workers, they are asking people to email covidsupplies@cresa911.org to schedule their donations and deliveries.  Please include your contact information, the items and the quantity of your donation . The Supply Warehouse hours of operation are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. 

They are seeking the following specific equipment, which should be new and unopened:

  • Latex free gloves
  • Commercially made procedural masks and surgical masks
  • N95 respirators and N95 filters
  • Other respirators (P100’s, PAPR’s, and PAPR supplies/parts)
  • Face shields
  • Splash shields
  • Gowns
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes

If you have any other items for donation, please contact one of the many community donation centers, organizations or charitable thrift stores in your area.

The following letter, authored by 18th District Rep. Larry Hoff and signed on to by 22 other lawmakers, was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday, March 27.

Dear Governor Inslee:

Our state, along with the country and the rest of the world, is experiencing a challenge of immense size and scope that has radically altered the daily routine of life for so many.

Your task of balancing public safety with individual rights is not an easy one. However, we wonder if your Stay Home—Stay Healthy order might be a bit too narrow in what it allows Washingtonians to take part in over the next two weeks and perhaps longer. 

One of the four essential activities permitted under your order is: “Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or biking, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used.”

We were surprised to see recreational fishing not included on that list, and even more surprised when the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the activity to the public altogether.

This is a time of deep anxiety and fear for Washingtonians, many of whom are struggling to find a way to decompress and enjoy life amidst the chaos. It’s a fact of life that very few activities are as relaxing as casting a line from the banks of a river or from a boat in the middle of a lake. It’s an escape, much like walking, hiking, running or biking.

It’s also a fact that many of our veterans recreationally fish, whether to simply clear their minds or to treat symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As with all Washingtonians, we are concerned for their well-being during this time, and want to ensure they don’t suffer as a result of Stay Home—Stay Healthy.

We firmly believe there is a way to balance public health while also allowing folks to fish on Washington’s many rivers and lakes. We would ask you to consider adding recreational fishing to your list of allowable essential activities under Stay Home—Stay Healthy.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Representative Larry Hoff, 18th Legislative District

The Washington Department of Health has now had several weeks of COVID-19 data, and here’s a look at the numbers DOH has provided, as of March 27, 2020.

  • 175 deaths
  • 3,700 confirmed cases
Cases
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washington.
Cases
COVID-19 deaths in Washington.

Counties with the most cases:

  • King: 1,760
  • Snohomish: 913
  • Pierce: 231
  • Whatcom: 92
  • Skagit: 91
  • Spokane: 86

Counties with deaths:

  • King: 125
  • Snohomish: 23
  • Clark: 6
  • Benton, Pierce: 5
  • Whatcom: 4
  • Yakima: 2
  • Grant, Island, Skagit, Chelan, Skagit: 1

Cases, deaths, and mortality rate by age:

Age      Cases (% of cases in WA)         Deaths (% of deaths in WA)                         Mortality Rate

<19:                    74 (2%)                                    0 (0%)                                                         0%

20s:                     370 (10%)                                0 (0%)                                                         0%

30s:                     557 (15%)                                0 (0%)                                                         0%

40s:                     518 (14%)                                2 (1%)                                                         .4%

50s:                     666 (18%)                                11 (6%)                                                       1.7%

60s:                     592 (16%)                                19 (11%)                                                     3.2%

70s:                     481 (13%)                                49 (28%)                                                     10.2%

80+:                    481 (13%)                                95 (54%)                                                     19.8%

Total:               3,700 (100%)                           175 (100%)                                                   4.7%

Tests:

  • Negative: 49,015
  • Positive: 3,700
  • Total: 52,715
Cases
COVID-19 tests in Washington.

Hospital Admissions

Cases
Weekly hospitalizations.

Personal Protective Equipment

Had success in obtaining this week:

  • 500 ventilators
  • 1,200 gowns
  • 500,000 N-95 masks
  • 130,000 surgical masks

Been able to purchase or have been donated:

  • 3,000 infrared no-contact thermometers
  • 10,000 disposable thermometers
  • 2.4 million N-95 masks, with an anticipated order of 2.2 million more.
  • 300 ventilators
  • 2,500 disposable stethoscopes
  • Varying numbers of coveralls and gowns sourced (ordered or donated.)
  • NOTE: It takes time for products and supplies to arrive and delivery schedules vary by item and by order. Arrival times an range from days to weeks. 

Having trouble obtaining:

  • Disposable gowns
  • Hand sanitizer

Olympia, WA — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday evening at ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order to slow down — and eventually contain — the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Tonight, Inslee signed a statewide proclamation for a STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY order in Washington state, similar to orders the public has seen in states like California, which is also combatting this virus.

Here are the main points of his order:

  • It will require every Washingtonian to stay at home unless they are pursuing an essential activity, like shopping for groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment, or going to work at an essential business, which are exempt from this order. 
  • It will ban ALL gatherings of people for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.  This applies to BOTH private and public gatherings.  And, yes, this applies to every type of gathering, including some of the most deeply meaningful gatherings in our communities, like weddings and funerals.  These celebrations of life, these important moments to gather with loved ones, must be postponed.
  • It will close all businesses except essential businesses (this will be further clarified).
  • While some would call this an order to “shelter in place,” that’s not what this does. It is still safe to go outside using social distancing; the grocery stores and other essential businesses will remain open.

Inslee’s full list of essential critical infrastructure workers

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, health care services, child care providers, transportation, financial services, the defense industry, critical local government operations, and media are considered essential. To-go and delivery from restaurants will still be allowed. Inslee’s office provided a full list of industries that are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
  • Life will go on, but with this in mind: Stay Home, Stay Healthy.
  • This order builds upon the early and unprecedented steps we took to protect Washingtonians, including the closure of schools, restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses where people congregate. Inslee said the state has been thoughtful and deliberate in making these tough choices.
COVID-19
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  • The governor has been very clear on the need for Washingtonians to stay home, and while most Washingtonians are doing their part, some are still not grasping the seriousness of this pandemic.
  • People will need to stay home unless absolutely necessary. This means the state will be banning all gatherings.
  • The order on gatherings and going out will take effect immediately.
  • Close non-essential businesses with in-office personnel functions and other public places, with the intention to reduce social interactions where this highly contagious virus can spread.
  • Closings on businesses will happen 48 hours after signing the order.
  • Many businesses can continue to operate using telework and that can and should continue.
  • For businesses where individuals cannot work from home, the governor’s office will provide guidance on what businesses are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
  • All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains, and other thing necessary for continued operations will remain open. We expect businesses and residents to voluntarily comply, but we will be discussing in the coming days any enforcement mechanisms if residents and businesses are not complying.  
  • If the function of your business is not listed but a business believes that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, they will be able to request designation as an essential business. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Please note: the governor’s office and the Emergency Operations Center would greatly appreciate the help of our partners and leaders to spread the word that people must avoid the impulse to overstock – if everyone sticks to their normal buying habits, we’ll have enough to make sure everyone – including our health care workers, seniors and other people who are ill – have the supplies and items they need.

As of Sunday night, according to the Washington Department of Health, 30,875 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,996 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 95 have died of the disease.

Lauren Jenkins, of the Washington State Department of Health, provided this update on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Numbers. As of Saturday night, 27,121 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,793 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 94 have died of the disease.

Pandemic Stress

Disease outbreaks bring feelings of overwhelm, helplessness and worry. Social distancing is absolutely necessary right now to protect ourselves and people we love. And it comes with a cost. It is massively disruptive to our lives and it takes away many of the usual outlets we have for blowing off steam—gyms are closed, bars and restaurants are closed, social media is an incessant reminder of the pandemic. If you have a chronic disease or deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, you may be especially stressed right now. And, remember, those helping with the response efforts – nurses, doctors, first responders – are doing so while also worrying about their own health, and their families.

So what can we do to cope during this public health emergency?

Connect! It’s our relationships that will see us through this. Find a way to invest in those important relationships from at least 6 feet away. Skype, Facetime, Zoom or just talk on the phone. Videochatting is fun! You feel like a techno-wiz and you can see your friend and their pets and kids and make each other smile!

  • Take care of yourself. The old fashioned way—with nourishing foods, lots of sleep, deep breaths, and exercise. Exercise is especially good for your mental health. Unplug from social media. You know, after you’re done reading this.
  • Focus on anything else. Clean, cook, garden, sing, play games, create, read, write. Do whatever it takes to allow your mind to focus on the parts of your life that bring you energy and joy!
  • Know when to call for help. If you continue to feel overwhelmed and struggle to get through the day, call your health care provider, therapist or mental health provider and set up a telemedicine appointment.
COVID-19
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