On March 16 Governor Inslee issued an order closing restaurants, bars, taverns and coffee shops and prohibiting large gatherings to control the spread of COVID-19. On March 17 the governor followed with an order closing all schools in the state. On that same day Pacific County launched its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the local coronavirus response. Since then both the county and the state in rapid succession, have issued new orders to control the coronavirus pandemic. The local orders started with the closure of beaches to razor clam digging, followed several days later by a closure of all beach approaches and hospitality lodging, followed by an amendment clarifying that order. And on March 23 the governor issued a Stay-at-Home order which included the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. For the general public, the coronavirus outbreak, the response and the ramifications have been almost impossible to comprehend.
The Pacific County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is tracking and coordinating the local COVID-19 response to both state and local orders. Pat Matlock, Chief Criminal Deputy in the Sheriff's Office has now assumed the role of EOC's Public information Officer. In a conversation on March 26, he summarized the status of these orders, beginning by stating that local schools, government agencies and businesses are in compliance with these orders. The purpose of each of these actions is to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 in our community. To date Pacific County is one of five out of 39 counties in Washington without a confirmed case of the disease.