Reopening paused indefinitely as infection rates rise

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 7/28/20

Gov. Jay Inslee announced via proclamation that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of COVID-19 economic reopening will continue indefinitely.

The …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Reopening paused indefinitely as infection rates rise

Posted

Gov. Jay Inslee announced via proclamation that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of COVID-19 economic reopening will continue indefinitely.

The extension, announced July 28, comes only days after Inslee tightened restrictions throughout the state for indoor activities in a further effort to stem an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and is the second time the pause has been extended since first implemented earlier this month.

Additionally, Inslee released an additional guidance document following last week's announcement of guidance updates in Washington's "Safe Start" phased reopening plan.

GATHERINGS

According to the July 28 memo, gatherings are not to exceed 10 individuals in Phase 3. The existing limitation of five individuals in Modified Phase 1 and Phase 2 is unchanged.

However, the limitations on gatherings "do not apply to religious practices, weddings, funerals, business activities, or any other activity covered separately by a Governor-issued memorandum or safety plan."

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

All live entertainment is prohibited except performances outdoors for members of the same household where social distancing of a minimum of 10 feet is always maintained from the entertainer and facial coverings are worn by all individuals.

“Live entertainment," according the latest gubernatorial memo, refers to any activity in which an individual or individuals perform for an audience of an individual or individuals, where all are physically present.

This prohibition applies without regard to the nature or location of the event, whether or not the performer receives compensation, and whether the performer is featured or in the background.

Specifically, the memo lists the following as being considered "live entertainment":  all musical performances, including but not limited to, group acts, soloists, and disc jockeys; all stage productions, including but not limited to, theater, dancing, comedy, poetry, acrobatics, performance art, animal stunts, and adult entertainment; any combination of the activities above; and all substantially similar activities.

RESTAURANTS, TAVERNS, BREWERIES, WINERIES AND DISTILLERIES

According to the memo, alcohol service, including beer, wine, and spirits, service must end at 10 p.m.

Vending and other game areas — including billiards, darts, and video games — are still prohibited.

In Phase 3, table size is reduced to five individuals, and occupancy is reduced to 50 percent, though bar-area seating is prohibited in all phases.

For restaurants, indoor dining at the same table is limited to members of the same household.

For purposes of the "Safe Start" plan, “bars” are defined as taverns, breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

Indoor service at taverns, breweries, wineries, and distilleries is prohibited.

If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant license, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for dine-in restaurants and taverns.

If a temporary structure is erected to provide outdoor service, the structure cannot be enclosed by more than two walls.

OTHER CHANGES

Indoor family entertainment and recreational centers, including miniature golf, bowling alleys, indoor go-karts, arcades, and substantially similar activities, are prohibited.

Indoor card rooms are prohibited.

Indoor movie theaters are prohibited until Phase 3, when they are limited to a capacity of 25 percent.

RELIGIOUS WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS

According to the July 28 memo: "Effective Aug. 10, 2020, the following changes to the Governor’s Memorandum on Phase 1, 2, and 3 Religious Weddings and Funerals will apply in all phases regardless of venue:

"a. Indoor occupancy is limited to 20 percent or 30 people, whichever is less, if and only if six feet of physical distancing between households can be achieved. Outdoor ceremonies are limited to 30 people, and at least six feet of physical distancing between households is required.

"b. Consistent with existing guidance, indoor ceremonies are prohibited in Phase 1.

"c. Only ceremonies are permitted, and ceremonies must follow all other provisions of the 'Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements.'

"d. Receptions are prohibited."

The Aug. 10 effective date of the "Religious weddings and funerals" section ("Secular and Religious Weddings and Funerals") applies only if the event was planned before the date of this memorandum.

Any events planned after July 28 must comply with the updated rules, starting July 30.

Comments

6 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Nick Krehnke

How is King and Kitsap counties BOTH in Stage 2?

King County -->>

8.2 x more people,

161 x more deaths,

148 x more active cases,

and only 1.6 x more population density?

I've never voted in a political race, but stuff like this might change that

Thursday, July 30
Justin Hale

Nick, ever get the feeling you're being played?

Thursday, July 30
Marge samuelson

There are 34 counties in Washington State that are in phase 2. 5 are still in phase one.

Here's what has to happen to move to phase 2:

The new metrics includes having fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people in the previous 14-day period -- up from the original target of 10 cases. The state will also be looking to make sure hospitalizations in counties are flat or decreasing and that hospitals are prepared with enough beds and personal protection equipment to handle the virus.

Applications to move to the second phase need to include plans for testing, contact tracing and responding to outbreaks in congregate settings. They also need to have the support of public health officials and the county councils or commissions.

Remember Nick it's always better to do your own research. Don't automatically assume you are being "played"

Friday, July 31
Larry Kallenberger

Well, the Fort Worden Public Development Authority has decided to indulge their tourism addiction in spite of the evidence of its danger to the community. Non essential travel is not allowed during this phase of the pandemic. The Jefferson County Commissioners have strongly discouraged tourism in our county. The CDC issued a report last week stating that the cause of the viral outbreak in the south and west was caused by tourists coming from areas where spread is occurring.

In the face of all of that they have encouraged all comers to travel here without any concern about where they are coming from. Yes, there are tourists in town who are mostly day trippers and weekenders from the metro Seattle area. Fort Worden is bringing in people from further away and from many places. They are ignoring directives and evidence from federal, state and local officials including public health experts at each level.

While we do informal mask surveys and hand out kudos and brickbats based on small business compliance we turn our heads and look the other way at the riskiest behavior of all going on at our beloved fort. The board making this decision is made up of an August group of older white males and one woman with extensive experience in what they call the hospitality industry. Bringing in more and more tourists is their business plan. With that in mind and teetering on the brink of financial collapse they have thrown caution to the wind and decided to put the needle in our arm one last time to bring in some revenue.

Last year they asked for and received $150,000 from Jefferson County with the blessing of the city to refurbish structures to house 15 seasonal temporary workers who they say can’t afford market rent. If you haven’t been able to see just how much tourism costs us this is an instructive example. There are the initial obvious questions including who are these people? It seems like there are likely 15 young people who already live here who could do those jobs. Looking at the board connections to various tourism promotion and college training programs makes me wonder if these are summer jobs for students in hospitality training programs. Are we talking about the freshly scrubbed non threatening youngsters with name tags sporting their home town in some other place. Is that who we are subsidizing so they don’t have to pay rent?

I want to clarify something else for local residents. When you hear that Fort Worden is in financial trouble it is not the State Park itself. The beaches and walking trails you love will remain for your use no matter what happens within the Authority. The entire property is owned by the state and it would require legislative and Governor agreement to sell the property. We are only talking about who manages a portion of the park.

Right now the quasi public authority created by the City of Port Townsend in 2014 has an agreement with the state to manage the portion of the park where the structures are located. All of the organizations located there pay rent for their space. They could all exist without tourism. Yes, the Authority does maintain some trails but has been paid by the state for doing so.

The board needs to focus on the creative and educational organizations that the community appreciates. There has been a lot of money raised and spent on buildings to house those activities. I see that the Authority announced that they are going to commence a three year study with stakeholders to look at other business plans that aren’t tourism dependent. For that to be a useful and sincere attempt there need to be other board members whose lives and interests are not intertwined with tourism. The City of Port Townsend created this authority and is ultimately responsible to residents for its operation even while it is managed on a day to day basis by the Authority.

The times they are a changing and if we wait three years to move in a new direction other communities will have acted more quickly and adapted more successfully. All we can do at this point is hope that in a county with about one half of its residents in high risk categories the roll of the dice by the Fort Worden Public Development Authority will not result in the chaos and death that occurred in the south and west after they gave in and opened the gate to tourism visits. If everyone in positions of Government responsibility turns and looks the other way at the way the authority is thumbing their nose at medical evidence and recommendations maybe all that is left is for someone to wear a grim reaper costume and greet the guests as they arrive and stroll the grounds.

I had a friend who was a volunteer emergency medical responder and often arrived first at the scene of a deadly accident. One day I was driving with him when a car passed on a narrow road with double yellow stripes with a car coming from the other direction. When we got to town we saw the car and he explained to the driver that he had to respond when people have been seriously injured or killed because of careless actions like his own. Voting as a board to place others at risk is a careless and thoughtless way of convincing the community you have our best interests in mind. The CDC, the Washington state Public Health Officer and the Jefferson County Commissioners Have all decided in the other direction. I guess if things do go wrong it won’t be much of a challenge to determine who was responsible. Actions matter and responsibility counts!

Two board members recently wrote an opinion piece stating that their visitors are being frightened by indecision about whether their reservations would be honored. They stated that the authority board doesn’t like to have discussions through the lens of the press. They criticized the reporting and and said that the director of Centrum Rob Berman was wrong to suggest that you leave tourist housing to the existing free enterprise lodging facilities rather than compete. Rob Berman not only runs the crown jewel of the fort but was absolutely correct in his assessment. Your over reaction to his simple suggestion along with your fussiness about having your affairs covered by the press has made me apprehensive about what is really happening at the fort.

I want to find out why officials look the other way when you do something like this. A haughty attitude meant to protect hospitality interests is coming off like a selfish attempt to do what you want because it is more important than what the rest of us are living with during a pandemic. I don’t know anyone who wants to die so that tourists who are not suffering financially can stay here and escape the dangerous places they are coming from!

Nothing magical is going to occur and take us back to where we were. Our world and our town will be changed forever and the quicker we adapt the more successful we will be at surviving and eventually prospering. Our path must lead forward to places we haven’t been before. Clinging to the past will waste time and take us nowhere........

Sunday, August 2
Nick Krehnke

I don't feel like I'm played and I have done plenty of research, hence these metrics, I'm just stating the obvious. My problem is watching those briefs by Inslee where he is giving these "orders" yet not even following his own orders. He just started wearing a mask less than a month ago and prior to that walking back and forth behind the sign language guy, rubbing against him actually because of the narrow plaform, to go out the door behind them with 4 other guys waiting their for him and they are all packed together like they are in a congo line! And he ran as the "Climate Change" president, yet doesn't even have a single solar panel on his personal home in Bainbridge. "Do as I say not as I do" doesn't work for me. He'll arrest the hair cutter lady for opening her salon early to buy groceries, fine her big and give court date to yank license YET allows thousands of "peaceful protestors" to vandalize the town and obviously spread the Corona virus he's supposedly concerned about. If he won't enforce the laws already on the books to protect the people he was elected to "protect and serve", why would anyone listen to what he says with his new non effective orders?

I bookmarked this page at the onset as a handy location for all the health departments and such. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/washington/

All the random serology tests they have done come to the same conclusion, Like the one in LA county on April 9th: 40x more people tested positive for the virus or the anitbodies, hence 40x less lethal than the early expert predictions. https://youtu.be/S6mSpIeBS18?t=80 . Millions have had it, we have the data. Bottom line is it's just not that deadly. We have plenty of viruses that we don't have the cure to and we have lived successfully with.

Tuesday, August 4
Justin Hale

Nick, your a wise man to see through the phony that is Jay Inslee. He doesn't want to be the Gov., he proved that when he did his BS run for POTUS, and then he refused to repay the citizens for his expensive fiasco. Inslee is totally mute when it comes to holding that crook Suzi LeVine accountable for the Millions of our tax dollars she sent to "Africa",,uh huh. Just a few minutes ago Inslee repeated the lie that Trump called the CV a hoax.

Inslee has got to go.

Tuesday, August 4