Governor Jay Inslee announced a new COVID-19 phased recovery plan last week called "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery." This began on January 11, and reset every county into Phase 1. According to this new plan, retail occupancy remains at 25%. It also allows for limited live entertainment and fitness center activities.
"No one was untouched by the effects of the pandemic in 2020; many have and continue to suffer through no fault of their own," said Inslee during a press conference on Tuesday, January 5. "We aren't out of this yet, but we are close to turning the corner on COVID-19 and this third wave of infection."
This new plan is laid out in hopes that it will avoid overwhelming the state's health care systems. The new recovery system aims to safely ease some restrictions while ensuring care for Washingtonians and encouraging economic recovery.
On Wednesday, January 6, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released the definitions of the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations. The next group, Phase 1B, is broken up into Tiers. The state is not ready to move into vaccinating Phase 1B since they are still finishing up vaccinating 1A.
Phase 1B include:
Phase 1B1 (Tier 1)
Flowers by Lynne, an established business in Raymond for nearly four decades, closed its doors on New Year's Eve 2020. Owners Lynne and Les Goodwin put Flowers by Lynne on the market a couple of years ago and now want to enjoy their retirement.
Lynne said that it was not a very difficult decision for them to sell the building and retire.
"We had thought about it for a while as Les and I are both at the age of retirement," she told the Herald.
Lynne talked about what originally inspired her to go into business in the first place. In December of 1981, when the country was suffering from high-interest rates and a poor business market, Lynne and her husband, Les, rolled the dice, and the gamble paid off.
SOUTH BEND - As long as Washington is safe enough from COVID-19 to compete in sports, the tentative date to start practices for the local sports of football, volleyball, girls and boys soccer and Willapa Harbor Tri-District Cross Country is February 1. In all, it will include a total of eight local sports. Last Wednesday, Evergreen state schools were given the go ahead by the the WIAA Executive Board, which voted to amend its season schedule, while moving traditional fall sports to WIAA Season 1. The WIAA will review Seasons 2 and 3 at its January 19 meeting.
"I think the WIAA's decision to move fall sports to Season 1 is the right move," Raymond HS Athletic Director Mike Tully told the Herald Friday afternoon. "It makes sense when you look at what is allowed in the governor's new reopening plan.
The 5th Annual Esther Borte Walk In the Park is coming to Toledo in February, this one is a bit different than the rest. The participants will still participate in the 5K walk, run, or roll. They just get to do it at their leisure.
The participants choose the date, time, and route of their race. You can track your race using the app of your choice, just take a screenshot and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Winlock is looking for volunteers who are interested in training in the water and sewer department. This will be the fifth year offering this training, former Mayor Lonnie Dowell started this program the first year and the program has continued under former Mayor Donald Bradshaw and Mayor Brandon Svenson.
Over the years, volunteers who have graduated from the program are: Sue Parker who is now a licensed water and sewer operator. Heather Luurs has graduated and passed the program but she has not taken her certification. Jessie Weimer has graduated and has passed his water and wastewater certificate. James Agren will graduate in April of 2021. This training will open up opportunities to work in this field. Wages in this field range from $35,000 per year up to $100,000 per year.
You will be getting training in water distribution and wastewater.
You may want to accept your $600 relief check or more as a much-needed post-Christmas gift - even though the amount is roughly half of what the first round of stimulus checks provided. The relief/stimulus checks are already appearing in bank accounts for many Americans, The payments are part of a $900 billion pandemic relief package that was approved in Congress in December.
This current round provides $600 per adult in a household, and $600 per child, which is up from $500 in the spring but like the first round of stimulus payments, an age limit is in place and parents aren't getting the extra $600 for dependents who are 17 and older; and there is no cap on the number of children a household can claim.
Gov. Jay Inslee extended the statewide ban on indoor dining and the closure of gyms and fitness centers through Jan. 11, which moves the restrictions back to at least Jan. 11. Washington's case and hospitalization numbers have leveled off since Inslee's closure orders, but are higher than at any point before November.
On New Year's Eve, Lewis County Courthouse was the place where change was to occur. The new Lewis County Commissioners were sworn in to little fanfare but family and reporters.
Sean Swope was sworn in by Judge and Municipal Attorney Jim Buzzard with Buzzard and O'Rourke Law firm. Dr. Lindsey Pollock was sworn in by outgoing Commissioner Edna Fund.
The Lewis County Law and Justice Center was the place where citizens of Lewis County and visitors gathered to show their support for Spiffy's Restaurant. On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, Lewis County restaurant Spiffy's was given a continuance while Farm Boys in Maytown was slapped with Contempt of Court over being open by a Thurston County Judge.
The first COVID-19 vaccines went out and into arms last week. The Pacific County Health and Human Services partnered with Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco and Willapa Harbor Hospital in South Bend to administer the vaccine.
Priority group 1a was the first to receive the vaccine during a drive-through event on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. This group consisted of local high-risk health care workers, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities, which followed along with the Washington State Department of Health guidelines.
Basically, anyone who has direct patient contact and is unable to telework. It is estimated that there are about 500 individuals in Pacific County that fall in the 1a group.
Pacific County received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 700 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Last week, there was another death in Pacific County attributed to the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Pacific County Health Department reported an additional 16 positive COVID-19 cases. This brings the total cases up to 576 since the start of the pandemic.
There are 29 active cases being monitored by public nurses. The current case rate per 100k over 14 days is 157.1.
On December 21, members of the Pacific County Sheriff's Office had the privilege and honor to help spread the joy of Christmas cheer to a local family. Each year the Sheriff's Office participates traditionally in the local Shop With A Cop Event. If you haven't experienced that event, you are really missing out! They usually have a big breakfast, shopping, police vehicle lights and sirens parade and so much more. Many giving and generous people and businesses donate money and time to the event. This year due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing that type of event was put on hold.
However, that didn't stop our office or several other people to help and donate to try and make sure one family received some holiday cheer. Thanks to the Pacific County Guns and Hoses group for their more than generous donation as well as Michelle Layman for assisting with behind-the-scenes logistics.
This fall South Bend High School's Family Resource Navigator Kathryn Staats noticed that she was running low on supplies to give to South Bend students in need.
Together with the South Bend High School Key Club, and the South Bend Kiwanis Club, they stepped up to support their community by collecting donations to purchase and deliver the necessary supplies.
The supply drive started on October 26, 2020, and continued for two weeks. They collected donations of money and supplies from the community. Pioneer Grocery donated a $75 gift card along with $117.02 from the community. The Kiwanis Club generously donated $300.
In all the years of writing about the year's events, this is the first year I am wondering if I can fit everything into one paper. This was the year that took all of us by surprise, surprises in ways we would have never thought. Tragedies, businesses lost, and an uproar in our country we have not seen since the 1960s. While the year started out with zero knowledge of a virus, it would soon change everything we know about our world.
We started the year off with hope and excitement, within a few weeks COVID-19 was announced right here in our state. It was in a nursing home that was on lockdown, no concerns. Washingtonians continued to go on about their day, still not concerned for what was to come roaring through. Before long, our lives were going to be altered, not for a week, a month, but for the entire year. February would be the beginning of the changes.
In March, Governor Inslee ordered a "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. The ban included no social gatherings and closures of all nonessential businesses. We saw schools go remote, students were no longer in the classroom.
In April, businesses were starting to struggle, we had no idea how long. This is when we started to see an increase in suicides and drug overdoses in Lewis County, being home was killing people.
By the end of May, we saw another change. George Floyd was killed and our big city streets erupted in riots. Businesses were burned down, police were killed. We were also introduced to a new phased opening for businesses during Covid.
June brought car cruises for graduates, as graduation was canceled. It was different for seniors, they could not have commencement ceremonies. Communities came out to support the local seniors. The biggest change was masks were now mandated, while some businesses were partially allowed to open. Black Lives Matter held a peaceful protest in Toledo. For the first time, a foreign area was set up in our state, known as CHOP, "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone." It was a violent area where two lives were eventually lost. Times have changed, violence has now erupted in our state and our capital.
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