Effective immediately: order closing lodging, playgrounds, camping

San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James, MD has issued an order, effective immediately, that restricts non-essential travel to San Juan County, controls contact with playgrounds and playground equipment, and limits transient accommodations and camping. Washington State Ferries will be asked to post information about the lack of lodging availability. 

Travel and lodging for individuals engaged in essential activities or providing essential services may continue.

1. Playgrounds. All playgrounds and playground equipment located in San Juan County that is accessible to the public or to groups of persons is closed. No person shall use, or permit a minor child for whom they are the parent or guardian to use, any publicly accessible playground or playground equipment in San Juan County.

2. Playgrounds Notice. Owners and operators of any (1) public playground or public playground equipment or (2) playground or playground equipment open to the public shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. indicating that the playgrounds and playground equipment are closed. Those portions of public parks or privately owned areas open to the public that are outside of playgrounds or play equipment are not closed by this order; however, owners of parks or similar outdoor facilities open to the public shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. that group activities are not allowed and that users must engage m social distancing by maintaining separation of at least six feet from other persons who are not members of their household or residential living in it.

3. Transient Accommodations. Owners and operators of transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities located in San Juan County, as defined in San Juan County Code Chapter 18.20, shall assist m the implementation of Governor Proclamation 20-25 by providing such accommodations or facilities only to persons for whom such accommodations or facilities are required (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities,. (2) for employment m essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided by · Proclamation 20-25. Nothing m this order requires the removal of persons who are allready staying in transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities at the time this order is made.

4. Notice by Ports and Marina Facilities. Owners and operators of all port and/or marina facilities in San Juan County shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at entry and exit points indicating that travel for purposes other than (I) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment m essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclamation 20-25 is prohibited and is punishable by law.

5. Providers of marine passenger transportation in San Juan County, including but non-limited to Washington State Ferries and commercial providers, shall, no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., post prominent notice at entrance and exit points on each vessel providing passenger service that travel for purposes other than ( 1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclamation 20-25, "Stay Home - Stay Healthy", is prohibited and is punishable by law. This notice requirement does not apply to individuals using their own vessels for personal use, although such persons remain subject to Governor Proclamation 20-25. Additionally, it is requested that all providers subject to this section post the same notice at the place of ticket sales.

6. For purposes of this order, "essential activities", "essential business services", and the exceptions thereto shall have the meanings established by Governor Proclamation 20-25 as it now exists or may hereafter be amended or clarified.

The provisions of this order are effective immediately and shall remain in effect until midnight on April 30, 2020, unless extended beyond that date.  

ORDER NO. 2020-1

SAN JUAN COUNTY LOCAL HEALTH OFFICER ORDER REGARDING COVID-19; SOCIAL DISTANCING AND NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL;

LIMITS ON PLAYGROUNDS, PARKS, TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, AND CAMPGROUNDS AND CAMPING FACILITIES;

AND NOTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR PORTS, MARINAS, AND MARINE PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS

WHEREAS, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person which may result in serious illness or death and has been classified by the World Health Organization as a worldwide pandemic;

WHEREAS, on January 31 , 2020, United States Department of Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, beginning January 27, 2020;

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington State; WHEREAS, on March 13. 2020, the San Juan County Council declared a state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

WHEREAS, on March 13. 2020, the President of the United States issued a presidential proclamation declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is a national emergency;

WHEREAS, during the month of March 2020, Governor Inslee issued a series of proclamations related to COVID-19, including Proclamation 20-25, "Stay Home -Stay Healthy," which requires all people in Washington State to cease leaving their home or place of residence except: (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, and/or (2) for employment in essential business services, excepting those person whose homes or residence become unsafe such as victims of domestic violence and also excepting those persons experiencing homelessness, which order is in effect until midnight on April 6, 2020, unless extended beyond that date (referred to hereafter as "Governor Proclamation 20-25");

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has and continues to spread quickly and broadly throughout Washington State and is present in San Juan County, significantly threatening the life and health of persons in San Juan County;

WHEREAS, COVID-19 can spread from people without symptoms to others;

WHEREAS, for every case of COVID-19 in the community we can expect 2.5 more cases in the community, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of cases over a short period of time;

WHEREAS, there is currently limited access to essential protective equipment for emergency responders and essential medical providers in San Juan County and throughout the state;

WHEREAS, there are currently no known medications or vaccinations that are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19,

WHEREAS, non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing, are presently the only effective measures to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, WHEREAS, limiting non-essential travel to and within San Juan County provides effective social distancing and limits the potential to import and spread cases of COVID-19 in our rural and isolated county;

WHEREAS, to in order to control and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in San Juan County and protect our most vulnerable populations, in my professional judgment, based on the cwTent standards of practice and the best available medical and scientific information, the following measures should be undertaken immediately:

A. Closure of playgrounds and playground equipment and posting of notice of closure

B. Posting of notice at parks that group activities are prohibited and that park users must engage in social distancing

C. Owners and operators of transient accommodations and campground and camping facilities shall provide accommodations or facilities only for purposes authorized by Governor Proclamation 20-25 as it now exists or may hereafter be amended, such as to allow a person to conduct or participate in essential activities or for employment in essential business services as defined by the Governor

D. Posting of notice at port and marina facilities indicating that travel for purposes other than (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclanrntion 20-25 is prohibited and is punishable by law

E. Posting of notice on vessels providing marine passenger transportation that travel for purposes other than (l) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclamation 20-25 is prohibited and is punishable by law; and

WHEREAS, due to the rapidly-evolving understanding of COVID-19 and its risks to public health it is appropriate to review the measures established in this order no later than April 6, 2020, with the understanding the terms of this order may be modified at any time;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dr. Frank James, Local Health Officer for San Juan County, under the authority of RCW 70.05.070, RCW 28A.210.010, RCW 43.20.050, and WAC 246-110-036, and on the basis of the foregoing recitals, make the following ORDER:

1. Playgrounds. All playgrounds and playground equipment located in San Juan County that is accessible to the public or to groups of persons is closed. No person shall use, or permit a minor child for whom they are the parent or guardian to use, any publicly accessible playground or playground equipment in San Juan County.

2. Playgrounds Notice. Owners and operators of any (1) public playground or public playground equipment or (2) playground or playground equipment open to the public shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. indicating that the playgrounds and playground equipment are closed. Those portions of public parks or privately owned areas open to the public that are outside of playgrounds or play equipment are not closed by this order; however, owners of parks or similar outdoor facilities open to the public shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. that group activities are not allowed and that users must engage m social distancing by maintaining separation of at least six feet from other persons who are not members of their household or residential living in it.

3. Transient Accommodations. Owners and operators of transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities located in San Juan County, as defined in San Juan County Code Chapter 18.20, shall assist m the implementation of Governor Proclamation 20-25 by providing such accommodations or facilities only to persons for whom such accommodations or facilities are required (1) to conduct or participate in essential activities,. (2) for employment m essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided by · Proclamation 20-25. Nothing m this order requires the removal of persons who are allready staying in transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities at the time this order is made.

4. Notice by Ports and Marina Facilities. Owners and operators of all port and/or marina facilities in San Juan County shall post notice no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at entry and exit points indicating that travel for purposes other than (I) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment m essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclamation 20-25 is prohibited and is punishable by law.

5. Providers of marine passenger transportation in San Juan County, including but non-limited to Washington State Ferries and commercial providers, shall, no later than Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., post prominent notice at entrance and exit points on each vessel providing passenger service that travel for purposes other than ( 1) to conduct or participate in essential activities, (2) for employment in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided in Governor Proclamation 20-25, "Stay Home - Stay Healthy", is prohibited and is punishable by law. This notice requirement does not apply to individuals using their own vessels for personal use, although such persons remain subject to Governor Proclamation 20-25. Additionally, it is requested that all providers subject to this section post the same notice at the place of ticket sales.

6. For purposes of this order, "essential activities", "essential business services", and the exceptions thereto shall have the meanings established by Governor Proclamation 20-25 as it now exists or may hereafter be amended or clarified.

The provisions of this order are effective immediately and shall remain in effect until midnight on April 30, 2020, unless extended beyond that date.  

The order effective immediately and is set to expire on April 30, but will be revisited on April 6 and may be extended or amended as dictated by the situation.

“This order is necessary to control and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in San Juan County. This order has been made to protect all citizens but especially our most vulnerable islanders,” said Dr. James.

Dr. James added, “This was an extremely difficult decision and one I do not take lightly. This will impact many of our local businesses and our islands’ residents. In my professional judgement, it is necessary to reduce the spread of this infection and move toward ending this pandemic. Every case prevented now is magnified into the future. Those individual cases will multiply many times and each one we prevent will save many lives as the exponential growth in cases occurs.”

At the meeting, he said he is considering another order which would require people to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to the islands. 

More details and frequently asked questions on the San Juan County order and the recent Governor’s Stay Home order may be viewed here: https://www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/20043/Stay-at-Home-Orders-FAQ

The County Health Order builds upon Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, Stay Home – Stay Safe, issued on March 23, 2020. The Governor’s Order can be read here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25%20Coronovirus%20Stay%20Safe-Stay%20Healthy%20%28tmp%29%20%28002%29.pdf

There is a provision for exceptions for essential services: https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business

San Juan County health officials remind islanders that if you feel sick and have mild symptoms, stay home. If you feel you have more serious symptoms or if you are at risk for severe illness, stay home and call your health provider. Do not report to a clinic or to the hospital. Follow your doctor or health professional’s direction. If you feel the situation is urgent and life threatening, call 911.

For more information please visit our informational webpage at https://www.sanjuanco.com/1668/2019-Novel-Coronavirus This website is updated as new information becomes available. You can also visit the San Juan County Health and Community Services Facebook page. For help with answering specific questions about the San Juan County Health Officer Order that aren’t answered on our FAQ, email covidquestions@sanjuanco.com.

 

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