Sun, Jul 12, 2020
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577
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Statewide business requirement on face coverings

Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. of Health John Wiesman announced Thursday a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers.

Under the proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the statewide face covering order. The extension comes in response to growing case counts in counties across the state.

"We're doing this because of a spike in cases of COVID-19 all over the state," Inslee said. "The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shut down the economy."

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CHOP dismantled, streets reopened

Several people were arrested last Wednesday as Seattle Police dispersed protesters in Seattle's Capitol Hill Occupation Protest, known as the CHOP area after an emergency order by Mayor Jenny Durkan to have it removed. It was reopened Friday at 12:30 pm. According to police, 44 were arrested Wednesday and 25 more on Thursday for failure to disperse, obstruction, assault and unlawful weapon possession.

Durkan issued an executive order June 30 in response to "reported life safety, public health and property issues" in and around the East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park area, which protesters occupied since early June and has been marred by a series of shootings.

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Classifieds 7.8.20
Classifieds 7.8.20
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Inslee declares a statewide facial covering mandate
Gov. Inslee
Inslee declares a statewide facial covering mandate

Last week, a statewide mandate went out to Washingtonians to wear face coverings when out in public. The order was issued by State Health Secretary John Wiesman and took effect on Friday, June 26.

"At the beginning [of the pandemic], people who had the disease [COVID-19] infected close to three people for every person that was infected," Said Governor Jay Inslee during a press call on Tuesday, June 23. "That was when the number of people who were infected exploded exponentially. We [Washington] drove that number down dramatically. We did that because Washingtonians were committed and disciplined and caring for one another when we did our social distancing."

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Inslee puts pause on phase 4

As new coronavirus cases continue to rise throughout the state, Inslee has put a pause on counties moving to Phase 4, which would mean no restrictions.

Eight counties were eligible to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 before the pause. State health officials confirmed 549 new COVID-19 cases in Washington on Saturday, including six additional deaths. The update brings the state's totals to 31,404 cases and 1,310 deaths.

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Classifieds 7.1.20
Classifieds 7.1.20
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Inslee getting tough on Yakima County

On Sunday, there were 455 new coronavirus cases confirmed. The state has confirmed 28,680 cases out of 474,938 tests for the novel coronavirus, including 1,270 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. A total of 4.4% of people diagnosed in Washington have died. A 106-year-old woman from Yakima has reportedly recovered from COVID-19. Pacific County still has only 12 confirmed cases. Nationally, through Sunday there have been 2,290,936 confirmed cases and 120,643 deaths. The USA leads the world with the most cases, and Brazil is second at 1,085,038. New York has the most cases in America at 396,452, followed by California (178,227), New Jersey (172,567), Illinois (136,762) and Texas (111,601).

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Classifieds 6.24.20
Classifieds 6.24.20
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Families with school kids qualify for Pandemic EBT

One of the consequences of COVID-19 is the closure of schools. Unfortunately, many students depend on school breakfast and lunch for part of their meals. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has authorized a temporary assistance program for households with children affected by school closures during the public health emergency that was declared on January 27, 2020.

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services and the Washington Office of Superintendent and Public Instruction will issue P-EBT benefits to current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and non-SNAP households, which include children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, through the State's SNAP EBT card system.

Washington estimates that it will issue $91.9 million to 230,391 students in SNAP households and $99.3 million to 248,763 students in non-SNAP households for school closures extending from March 13, 2020, through June 19, 2020, a total of 70 days.

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When school reopens, students must wear face masks

While releasing guidance for the 2020-2021 school year in Washington, Superintendent Chris Reykdal said he expects schools to reopen for in-person instruction in the fall. Thursday, Reykdal released guidance for reopening schools after months of coronavirus closures. The guidance includes a mask requirement for all students and staff in K-12 settings.

Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday issued a proclamation outlining the state's plan to possibly re-open schools in the fall for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan follows the state's Safe Start phased approach to reopening on a county-by-county basis.

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Classifieds 6.17.20
Classifieds 6.17.20
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Jeff Wilson running for State Senate 19th District
Jeff Wilson with his mini-tank
Jeff Wilson running for State Senate 19th District

On May 12, 2020 Jeff Wilson, Longview Port Commissioner announced his run for Washington State Senate in the 19th District. Jeff has been active in the Longview area for quite some time and now he would like to represent the entire 19th district.

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Inslee issues safety plan for businesses in Phase 3

Through Sunday, state health officials confirmed 287 new COVID-19 cases in Washington, as well as six additional deaths. The update brings the state's totals to 23,729 cases and 1,159 deaths. There have been 3,669 hospitalizations in Washington.

All counties in the state have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, except Garfield County. There are nine confirmed positive cases in Pacific County (525 tests), 19 in Grays Harbor County, and 37 in Lewis County. Pacific County has completed 525 tests.

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Classifieds 6.10.20
Classifieds 6.10.20
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SUPPORT THE CLASS OF 2020
SUPPORT THE CLASS OF 2020

Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters support your grad by placing a personalized message in the Willapa Harbor Herald or the Lewis County News. Call Jan at 360-942-3466 ext. 210 or email janc@flannerypubs.com for details.

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Gov. Inslee, State Updates

Gov. Jay Inslee issued higher education and workforce training requirements in Phase 1 and Phase 2 Monday morning. These guidelines do not apply generally to higher education institutions; they apply only to workforce training programs that require in-classroom/lab practicums only.

Through the Washington Safe Start plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in phases, with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks.

85 Crewmen Test Positive

The test results for the Seattle-based American Seafoods factory trawler are a somber finding for the North Pacific fishing industry, which has been trying to keep the coronavirus off the ships and out of the shore-based plants that produce much of the nation's seafood. The outbreak also underscores the toll coronavirus continues to take on the food processing industry across the U.S.

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Classifieds 6.3.20
Classifieds 6.3.20
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Echoes from the past: Spanish influenza comes to Washington state in 1918
Photo taken out of the Raymond Herald Friday October 11th 1918
Echoes from the past: Spanish influenza comes to Washington state in 1918

Over 100 years ago, the United States was dealing with another pandemic, the Spanish Influenza Epidemic. By October 3, 1918 this disease arrived in Seattle with 700 cases and one death at the University of Washington Naval Training Station.

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Food prices increase to a 50 year high

Meat and egg prices at the grocery store make shoppers do a double take because they can't believe the increase in prices. Food prices have been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and they have reached a 50 year high.

As of April, inflation is only at 0.3%, but prices of food are wrecking household budgets. The low inflation rate is due to the 20.6% drop in gas prices as well as the decrease in prices for clothes, airline fares, lodging away from home prices, and vehicle sales.

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Drop in vaccination leaves children vulnerable to other diseases

Immunization rates among children appear to be dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This leaves children and communities at risk to other diseases.

Providers in Washington's Childhood Vaccine Program reported they administered 30 percent fewer vaccines to 0-18 year olds in March of this year compared with the same month in previous years. In April, preliminarily we are seeing a 42 percent decrease, but that number may change as April data continues to be reported.

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Inslee changes restaurant requirement

Through Sunday, according to the Washington Dept. of Health, another 145 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, bringing the total to 18,433, including 1,001 deaths.

Friday, Inslee did a turnaround and said that now restaurants will not be required to get customers' contact information as initially ordered. Last Monday (May 11), Gov. Jay Inslee outlined metrics that counties must reach before they are allowed to enter Phase 2 of his Safe Start plan. Counties with less than 75,000 residents and have not had a new coronavirus case over a three-week period can apply for a variance to enter Phase 2 before other parts of the state. If approved, the counties may enter Phase 2 immediately. It allows restaurants to resume operations at limited capacity. Inslee's office said that instead, businesses are asked to keep a list of those who voluntarily provide contact information.

"We are asking visitors to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure. We only need information for one person per household. If we learn you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your visit, the information will only be shared with public health officials. They will contact you to explain the risk, answer questions and provide resources. This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, it will be destroyed," Inslee said. "This will not be required of anyone."

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Inslee allows drive-in religious services

Governor Jay Inslee held several press conferences last week and issued guidance for drive-in religious services, vehicle and vessel sales in his Safe Start recovery plan.

One of the first industries to re-open was vehicle and vessel sales. Some churches in north Pacific County did conduct drive-in services over the weekend.

Last Wednesday, Inslee released guidance allowing religious, spiritual and faith-based organizations the ability to conduct drive-in services.

"Faith is so important at all times, but especially during times of crisis and difficulty. This unique drive-in service option will allow people to come together," Inslee said. "Our goal has always been to keep Washingtonians safe and healthy, and this option allows them to do that while participating in religious, spiritual and faith-based activities."

"This guidance is the work of a strong collaborative process between my office and the industry," Inslee said. "Here is a great example of vehicle and vessels sales dealerships leading the way to ensure the opening of their businesses puts the health and safety needs of their employees and customers first."

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Inslee extends Stay Home order until end of May

May 5, 2020 was the start of the phased opening of Washington, but most of the residents are still being asked to stay home. Presenting a phased approach to the reopening of the economy, Governor Jay Inslee is using science and data to help guide the reopening timeline while examining the health of Washingtonians.

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More food stamp benefits available

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis more supplemental funding for Basic Food recipients for May has been approved by Congress.

Washington DSHS will continue to issue Emergency Supplements for food assistance. This brings the benefit level of all households up to the maximum benefit for their household size.

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Inslee to allow construction projects to proceed

Governor Jay Inslee, in consultation with the state's construction industry, announced a plan last Friday that allows current construction projects to be completed.

"I thank all those involved in the construction workgroup in helping us get to this decision in a responsible way that supports workers, businesses, and communities in a way that protects the health of all of their families and ours," Inslee said. "Our strategy is working and we need to keep with it. We would much rather protect people from sickness and death now, so that we don't have to go through this crisis all over again later."

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