Gov. Jay Inslee announced last Thursday that most indoor masking requirements will lift March 21 thanks to dropping hospitalization rates, improving vaccination rates, and broad access to masks and tests.
"The virus has changed significantly over the past two years, and so has our ability to fight it. While caution is still needed, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic," Inslee said. "Vaccination remains our most essential protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19. It's also crucial to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed again. If you've been procrastinating, now is the time to get the shot."
Inslee was joined in the announcement by Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, Department of Health Secretary Umair Shah, and Department of Health Deputy Secretary Lacy Fehrenbach.
"Our students, educators and school employees, and families have been incredibly resilient as we've navigated the impacts of the pandemic," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. "Our efforts over the past two years have led us to this moment. Nearly all of our school employees are vaccinated, the number of vaccinated students increases each day, and we have one of the most robust COVID-19 school testing programs in the country. Moving away from a statewide mask mandate to masks being encouraged is a safe next step as we move from pandemic to endemic."
Beginning March 21, face masks will no longer be required in most settings, including K-12 schools and childcare facilities. Masks will still be required in health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient and dental offices, long term care settings, and correctional facilities. In addition, beginning March 1, vaccine verification for large events will no longer be required.
Businesses and local governments can still choose to implement vaccination or face mask requirements for workers or customers, and school districts can still choose to have students and teachers wear masks. Federal law still requires face masks in certain settings such as public transportation and school buses.
The Friends of the Winlock Timberland Library are having a fundraiser on Saturday, February 26, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All of the funds go to support the library, a lot is for treats included for after school programs.
"On Saturday, February 26, the Friends of the Winlock Timberland Regional Library will hold a book sale from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 300 NE First Street in Downtown Winlock, next to the Post Office parking lot," said Ilona Elliot. "All proceeds benefit the programs and capital improvements of the Winlock branch library." Many of us old timers refer to the building as Bowers Towers, or across from Volunteer Park downtown Winlock.
Natty Interiors opened late last year at the Vader-Ryderwood exit on the west side. The location is perfect for this type of business as it draws people from the freeway and also local individuals. When you walk in, you can see all the wonderful home decor.
Curious as to why they opened a home decor store, Crystal Gillette stated, "Natty Interiors opened late last year after seeing a need for a place to buy gifts and household goods locally. A unique and friendly place to grab a quick card or something fun for your home."
It was during their time at home during COVID they realized they needed to do something. Crystal continued, "During the pandemic, many of us spent much more time in our homes. We realized how important that space felt, looked and functioned. Natty Interiors offers a wide variety of styles, and products to make a house a home."
The Pacific County Sheriff's Office and Non-Profit Keeping K-9s in Kevlar hope to fund a bullet resistant vest for K9 Kova.
For many law enforcement departments, bullet resistant vests for K-9s are not in the budget. Instead, departments rely on non-profit assistance to acquire the protective gear.
On a yearly basis The Chamber takes nominations for businesses or individuals that people feel should be recognized for their efforts within our Community. This year, we again received many worthy nominations. The chamber trustees would like to thank all who took the time to submit a nomination of an individual or business in our area who helps make this great community such a great place to live and work.
Even though we were unable to celebrate together in person at our annual banquet, these businesses and individuals deserve high praises for their dedication and service to our community!
2021 Business of the Year
The Willapa Harbor Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their 2021 Business of the Year as Alder + Co. Jeff Karnatz and Paul Stazel have created a marketplace at Alder that allows local Artists a showcase for their work. You will often find Alder + Co a buzz with local folks during their many hosted events that forge great connections within our community. Alder + Co also commits a portion of their sales to local nonprofits. Alder's ever changing layout is a beautiful place for locals to sit and sip coffee, meet with friends, or even work on a project. Alder + Co is a gem in our community and asset to our economy.
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