Thu, Jul 9, 2020
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577
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Pacific County behaved well over holiday
Photo by George Kunke - There were plenty of displays of Old Glory on the Long Beach Peninsula during the Fourth of July holiday.
Pacific County behaved well over holiday

SOUTH BEND - The citizens of South Bend, Raymond, and our neighbors to the south, Long Beach, pretty much observed the law on fireworks and for the most part put on their face masks when out and about during Fourth of July weekend. People had fun with the fireworks and maintained safety.

"Things went fairly well over the Fourth," South Bend Police Chief Lucas Stigall told the Herald. "Surprisingly, South Bend had very few actual 'firework complaints' this year compared to past years. I think our biggest problem has been fireworks leading up to the third and fourth, and since people do not realize they are only legal in the city limits on those two days."

On the governor's order to wear face masks, Stigall said, "South Bend PD is emphasizing on education when it comes to wearing face masks."

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Not all face mask exemptions call for accommodation

Face coverings are slowly appearing as people start complying with Governor Inslee's statewide mandate for wearing masks in public places. One exemption to wearing a mask is if you are outside alone or with other household members. There are other exemptions to wearing masks like if there is a medical condition that the mask will interfere with.

"People can have exemptions from wearing face masks, however that exemption does not require that a private business, government or organization allow that person to be inside their business or organization," said Pacific County Health Department Director Katie Lindstrom.

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Expect thousands in Long Beach; be safe, sensible with your fireworks
Photo by George Kunke - It will be fireworks galore in Long Beach this weekend.
Expect thousands in Long Beach; be safe, sensible with your fireworks

SOUTH BEND - Sales of fireworks has increased dramatically across America since the coronavirus pandemic surfaced. In 2019, fireworks sales were approximately $1.3 billion, which surpassed 2018's total of $945 million. There will be no city display of fireworks in Long Beach; however, last year's fireworks exploded by thousands of beachgoers was more prominent than what the city of Long Beach provided.

Thousands of people attend the Fourth of July party on the Long Beach Peninsula every year. Expect even a bigger attendance this weekend.
Long Beach Police Chief Flint Wright took time to answer questions from the Herald Monday morning.

"The beach is under the authority of Washington State Parks and is not in my jurisdiction," Wright said. "That being said, they follow the same state laws we in Long Beach do. Fireworks can be shot off June 29th through July 3rd from 9 am until 11 pm, July 4th from 9 am until 12 am, and July 5th from 9 am until 11 pm. Only legal fireworks are allowed.

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Five additional Covid-19 cases in Pacific County

Last week Pacific County Health and Human Services received notice of additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Pacific County.

One individual has been identified as an out of state resident, but has resided in the county for the past three months.This positive test will not count towards Pacific County's total number of cases. This individual has been admitted to the hospital and is receiving medical care.

As a result of contact tracing five additional positive cases have been identified. These individuals are close contacts to the out of state resident, and are Pacific County residents. One of the cases is an employee of a local seafood processing facility. The Pacific County Department of Health and Human Services is working with the facility to assess, test, and limit these.

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FARM-TO-FAMILY Food Distribution
Photo by Karen S. Carter
FARM-TO-FAMILY Food Distribution

Catholic Community Services coordinated food delivery sites with Pacific Coast Fruit Company. On Saturday, June 20 volunteers distributed boxes of food to community members. The free food consisted of a dairy box, a vegetable / fruit box, and a dairy / lunchmeat / vegetable box.

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Pacific County enters into Phase 3

On June 16, 2020, Pacific County entered Phase 3 of Governor Inslee's Safe Start Plan. Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Pacific County's move into the new reopening level.

"It is important to keep in mind that this does not mean that we are going back to normal," said Pacific County Emergency Operation Center Kathy Spoor. "There are still restrictions in place. We are still asking folks to social distance, and to wear a mask while they are in public. Folks who are at high risk need to be very careful as people come from out of the area to our area and people are in closer proximity."

As of last week only 11 counties in Washington are in Phase 3. Businesses that are approved to move into the new phase must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the Safe Start Plan. Phase 3 means that most of the businesses that haven't been open can do so.

Gatherings are still limited, but they are now up to 50 people. Many events in the area have been canceled because they pull in a larger crowd.

Outdoor group recreational sport activities are allowed if the group contains no more than 50 individuals. Recreational facilities like public pools can be reopened, but only at 50% of their capacity. Non-essential travel is approved to resume in the county.

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Silent March in Raymond/South Bend brings awareness to Pacific County
Photo by Karen S. Carter - A group of marchers with their chosen signs getting ready to participate in the Silent March.
Silent March in Raymond/South Bend brings awareness to Pacific County

Last Friday afternoon, June 12, many residents and visitors gathered at the skatepark in the 8th Street Park in Raymond. People were signing up to participate in a Silent March starting at 1:00 p.m. This event's goal was to spread awareness of racism and other problems spreading throughout the United States.

The March route took walkers along Hwy 101 to the courthouse in South Bend. The local police departments approved the route and even escorted the marchers along Hwy 101 to help keep them safe from traffic. All participants were encouraged to be respectful of traffic, to wear masks and try to keep social distancing rules in mind.

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10th COVID case found in long-term care facility

Pacific County Health Department announced last week that a 10th COVID-19 case was discovered. This individual, a resident of Willapa Harbor Health and Rehabilitation, tested positive when the county started testing all residents of care facilities.

"Right now there is a state health directive around getting nursing homes and assisted living with memory care attached tested," said Pacific County Health Department Services Program Manager Stephanie Michael. "We know that there is a high incidence of mortality once there is an outbreak in one of these facilities. This is part of our mobile strike team which has the ability to go out to a congregate living facility or a congregate work facility and complete that testing in a timely manner. That way we can detect any positive cases and therefore get them into quarantine and isolation situations to limit the spread."

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Congratulations to the Class of 2020
Congratulations to the Class of 2020
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WIAA looking at several options for resumption of sports

The WIAA is contemplating one of five scenarios to adopt for high school sports when the fall session resumes. Whatever the WIAA decides on which course to take will no doubt coincide with what the OSPI decides to do in relation to Governor Jay Inslee's Safe Start plan. Last Wednesday, the five plans were presented and were discussed Sunday by the WIAA's committee.

According to Raymond HS Athletic Director Mike Tully, a prioritized list will be decided upon this week with a final decision taking place in mid-July.

Tully offered his interpretation of the five scenarios:

* Business as usual. Basically, seasons would start when they are scheduled to. Individual school districts will have to make a choice as to what they will allow to happen. It is possible that some schools decide not to offer some or all sports.

* Business as usual with the addition of time in August (1st-18th) for spring sport coaches to work with their athletes. Typically, the time from August 1st to the first day of fall practices is a dead period for coaching. I believe that this is being considered to make up for the time that spring sport coaches lost in April and May.

* Fall sports run from August 1st to October 31st with the potential for starting winter sports as late as January 4th. This scenario aligns with the current forecast of a spike in cases during November-December. It could also be possible to start winter sports as normal in November.

* Start fall sports on September 7th (the 4th for football) and finish fall sports as scheduled. This would give schools in the counties that are moving through the phases a little slower to have more time to Phase 4. This scenario would essentially cut the first couple weeks of the season. Football would have just enough practices to be able to play September 18th.

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