Gov. Inslee expands school closures across Washington state

Okanogan County Public Health updates on Corona-19 Virus

Gov. Jay Inslee
Gov. Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA – On March 13, 2020, in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Governor Jay Inslee took the following action:

  • Expanded the prohibition of social, spiritual, and recreational gatherings of more than 250 people to include the entire state of Washington
  • Closing all schools in Washington State (K-12, 2 year, 4 year, community and technical schools) no later than Tuesday March 17, 2020 through at least April 24, 2020
  • Expanded the directive of nursing/assisted living homes to adult family homes

Currently, COVID-19 has been confirmed in 15 counties in Washington and has resulted in 37 deaths statewide. There are NO confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Okanogan County at this time. It is important to remember to take every day preventative action to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water; if unavailable, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  3. Avoid large gatherings and close contact (less than six feet away) with others
  4. Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  5. Stay home and away from others if you are sick

These are significant measures taken by Governor Inslee to fight a major public health threat. We know these measures will have a substantial effect on the residents of Okanogan County and appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

In these unprecedented times, anyone staying home from work, cancelling events or modifying business operations to minimize this epidemic is doing their civic duty and should be sustained as well as possible by the rest of us. Employers should consider continued compensation when possible, along with all other measures to sustain those temporarily laid off. We urge all community groups – including social service organizations, faith-based organizations, schools and PTOs, and others – to take the initiative right now to organize efforts to sustain high risk and laid-off people with whom you are associated, with food and household supplies. Financial institutions should implement all possible policies easing debt, mortgage deadlines, and related obligations for the duration of this pandemic.

Please do your part, because it will make a difference in the number of cases and deaths we ultimately have in our area. Following these recommendations will not be easy, and the impacts on businesses and jobs may be significant. But this is our best chance to save lives. It is in support of the most vulnerable in our community, and a protection for everyone.

The more united we can be in preventing the spread the greater the benefit for the whole community.