"We should shut it all down," said San Juan County Council member Bill Watson at the Monday, March 23, 2020 council meeting.
The three council members - Watson, Rick Huges and Jamie Stephens - voted unanimously to ask the county medical officer, Dr. Frank James, to close all lodging facilities, transient rentals, transient moorage, camping at airports immediately through the end of May.
Health and Community Services Director Mark Tompkins said he will work with Deputy Prosecutor Jon Cain on determining the legal options the county has - whether it has jurisdiction over moorage and airports. A meeting of the county Board of Health and Dr. James will be scheduled as soon as possible.
The council said there would be some exceptions for essential services - road work crews, etc.
Dr. Frank James has the authority to close down facilities.
As to Washington State Ferries, Hughes said they cannot deny service to any Washington resident. And they are not going to ask people for their drivers licenses.
The council members are concerned that vacationers would put too much stress on the limited supplies and medical services available in the islands. They are also worried that people would bring the COVID 19 virus with them.
The council voted to immediately close camping at county parks through the end of May. The park's will remain open for day use, staff will stress the importance of social distancing.
The Parks Dept put out the following statement at the end of the day.
"By order of the San Juan County Council and in the best interest of the public and our staff, all four County Parks are closed to camping until May 30, 2020. This action was taken on Monday, March 23, in an effort to flatten the spread of COVID-19.
"Camping reservations for arrival between now and May 30 at any of the four San Juan County campgrounds will be cancelled with full refunds given. No new reservations will be accepted until further notice.
"At the present time, Day Parks and day use are still open, though we ask all visitors to please follow CDC guidelines for 'social distancing'. Some restroom facilities may be closed and there will be no drinking water available in any of the parks."
- April 4 and 5 Updates from Joint EOC at Camp Murray - face coverings, drivers license expirations and more...
- April 8: PHD holds special meeting in Friday Harbor - COVID-19 related issues on agenda
- Two Orcas Island positive cases share details
- UPDATED April 4: FOUR new COVID-19 cases; Count is now 10 in the San Juan Islands
- PIMC offering their patients mobile COVID-19 testing in Friday Harbor
- County recommends 14-day quarantine when returning from the mainland
- Recap of COVID-19 News and Updates from state EOC
- UPDATED April 3: No new COVID-19 positive tests; Count remains at 6 county-wide- including a PIMC staff person
- Governor's Stay Home - Stay Healthy order extended to May 4; More guidance issued
- 2 more COVID-19 cases; 1 on San Juan Island (PIMC staffer), 1 on Orcas Island
- $120K in emergency rental assistance available for San Juan County residents
- DSHS purchases shuttered nursing home in Seattle to free up hospital beds in Western Washington hospitals
- Dr. James and Dr. House working together to find a way to expand testing
- Widespread COVID-19 testing plan nixed by lack of tests
- Medical Surge Planning: Hoping for the Best, Planning for the Worst
- All appts at DOL offices cancelled; Online form to report businesses violating Gov's order
- Stay Home - Healthy guidelines for children and families
- UPDATED April 1: COVID-19 case count is 6 in San Juan County - including a PIMC staff person
- Alchemy Art Center creates opportunities for Creativity at Home
- Property Taxes and COVID-19, from San Juan County Treasurer
- Compass Health providing free, downloadable templates and protocols as part of COVID-19 response
- Hubbard, the first positive COVID 19 case on San Juan Island, shares his experience
- First case of COVID 19 on San Juan Island; County total now 4
- UPDATE: Someone needed to do the research study: Dr. House working to test everyone on San Juan Island
- Message from King's/Marketplace to the community
- San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Temporarily Implements 24/7 On-Duty Staffing
- From Award-Winning Whiskey to Critical Sanitizer
- Update March 27: No new cases; County total still 3
- WDFW closes recreational fishing statewide in wake of governor’s order to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ in response to COVID-19
- Eventide needs viral nasopharyngeal swabs and universal transport medium.
- Delta Dental of Washington to make financial relief available to its Independent Network Dentists ordered to limit practice
- Update March 26: 1 new case on Lopez Island; County total is 3
- Dr. James will release later today final ordinance to close playgrounds, lodging facilities, campgrounds
- Port of Friday Harbor closed to transient moorage and airport camping
- Eventide working with Luxel on mask covers, glassblowers on ventilator splitters, telemedicine continues
- Second COVID 19 case is on Orcas Island
- San Juan Island School Board March 25 meeting available via Zoom; email public comments
- WA Legislators request federal disaster unemployment assistance for independent contractors
- New stricter emergency orders for District and Superior Courts
- Telemedicine changes at Eventide Health.
- Inslee issues “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order
- San Juan Community Foundation committed to Community Relief
- Whatcom County Health Department identifies 29 additional cases of COVID-19 at Shuksan Healthcare Center
- Larsen: Major Disaster Declaration makes critical federal aid available for Washingtonians
- A letter about the situation in Europe from an Islander in France
- Camping closed in county parks through May, in state parks through April 30
- Open or Closed: Restaurants in the San Juan Islands - Updated April 3
- State and county seeking medical professional volunteers
- Special hours for elderly and high-risk customers at Market Place in Friday Harbor
- Department of Health releases personal protective equipment distribution guidelines
- Second COVID-19 related death in Whatcom County; 3 residents at skilled nursing facility test positive
- WSF: All tickets now available for purchase online
- Washington State Parks camp host tests positive for COVID-19
- Citizen sends open letter to council asking them to shut down access to the islands
- PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center prepares for COVID-19
- Town extends due dates for utility payments
- Orcas Island resident tests positive for COVID-19
- A letter about the situation in Europe from an Islander in France
- Harbor Life Ring program seeks donations for utility payers and Food Bank in response to COVID-19
- Eventide Health in Friday Harbor: COVID-19 testing update
- OPALCO suspends late fees and disconnects during COVID-19; Co-op Committed to Keeping Islanders Energized
- Coronavirus: the known and the unknown
- WSF offering ticket refunds and suspending no-show fees
- Dr. Fishaut stepping back from seeing patients temporarily
- Inslee announces relief for businesses, workers, renters and more in response to COVID-19 outbreak
- Statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and expanded social gathering limits includes ferry galleys
- PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center suspends visitor access
- SJICF creates emergency response fund
- Larsen: Federal Disaster Relief available for small businesses suffering from COVID-19 Impact
- Islanders Bank lobbies closed; mobile, online and drive up service available
- Update on changes at Senior Centers; Meals on Wheels still continues
- Institutions offer financial options during COVID 19 outbreak
- What Are WA Workers' Paid Leave Options During Coronavirus?
- Inslee statement on statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded
- Open or Closed? Businesses and organizations in the San Juan Islands - Updated April 2
- Orcas Island: Lit Fest, Spring Mini Film Fest cancelled, library, schools closed.....
- King County Update: Cases 388, deaths 35
- San Juan Island School District ready to put its thorough plans in action
- San Juan Preservation Trust cancels events through April
- All Island Rec activities cancelled until further notice
- San Juan Community Theatre is cancelling events due to concerns about COVID 19
- San Juan Island Library closing March 15 to April 24; Wi-Fi access will still be available in parking lot
- Notice of Potential Public Exposure to COVID-19 at The Silver Reef Casino Buffet on March 10
- San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Stations temporarily closed to the public
- San Juan County EDC launches survey to assess business impacts from COVID-19
- San Juan Island School District is planning on tele-schooling March 20 - April 24
- Gov. cancels all K-12 schools in state until April 24
- OPALCO offices to close for safety; Business Open - contact by telephone or email to prevent viral spread
- Social distancing aboard WSF ferries
- March 13: San Juan County to declare an Emergency responding to COVID-19
- Dr. James: Tests are negative for San Juan's case "in the works" for COVID 19
- Woman in her 40s is Skagit County's first case of COVID 19
- New state and King County orders issued to protect residents’ health from COVID-19
- Whatcom County resident has COVID 19; officials looking for anyone who had contact with her
- Islanders Bank: We care about your health
- Dr. House offers advice on healthy ways to cope with worry
- Inslee announces support for workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19
- Inslee issues new rules to protect older adults in nursing homes, living facilities
- Sports games, community dinner, senior vs staff basketball game among the canceled activities on San Juan Island
- March 9: Live Stream Community Update from San Juan County at 3 p.m.
Michael Barnes Monday, 23 March 2020 17:59 Comment Link
Considering the ferry system, I agree there should be limitations both directions, but if Peace Island in not testing or treating, my worry is the very sick or elderly need hospitals and doctor willing to help.Report
There are no medical facilities on San Juan that can do much more then test. So for critical patients the stay home or not leave the island will not work ! However tourists coming here are already breaking this new law by leaving there home and NOT for the things the Govenor talked about ! But getting medical care is well within the parameters payed out by the Govenor.
So, as the Govenor said “ can be enforced by the police” that would qualify under riding the ferry here for a vacation or day trip.
Cookie Monday, 23 March 2020 14:49 Comment Link
Although painful as this is my bread and butter I think this is wise and necessary. We must protect our community and get through this as well as we can.Report
I have many clients going back and forth from the islands to Seattle. They have friends and family coming and going like this is vacation. I see them hanging in groups at public beaches and hiking trails. It's very scary that they are not treating this with care. The islanders are feeling frustrated, scared and angry with all the visitors here. Please help us keep our community as safe as we can!
Truth to Power Monday, 23 March 2020 12:06 Comment Link
Dear County Council,Report
Great idea! Let's take this a step further. Since we know that there has been at least one case in the Islands and likely others undiagnosed. We can take no chances.
Immediately close down the Ferry system. We must equally stop any islanders from coming to the mainland as they represent potential danger to the rest of the state and the world. They must not have access to mainland stores, medical facilities or the uninfected that they would put in danger. The Coast Guard should stop any private boat traffic and the airfields must be immediately closed down. Hunker down, keep your guns unlocked and loaded. Guard our shores from the invading masses!