Dear County Council members,
I recognize that you are all probably working overtime on many issues facing our county right now. Thank you for your efforts.
I would like to request that you shut down access to the islands to residents only starting immediately for the safety of our community and our healthcare workers.
For two weeks now, there have been reports of people from the mainland coming to the islands on the ferry and through the airport - to vacation, to party, to "hole up" and to escape the virus outbreak in Seattle. We are well aware that the virus is probably already here, but that does not have anything to do with limiting traffic to the islands.
Limiting entry is about minimizing spread and the impact to our healthcare system in the islands. We do not have the resources to take care of so many additional citizens who are fleeing the mainland. Our doctors, nurses, and first responders are and will be inundated with residents and those already on the island. For their safety and all of ours, we need to stop non-residents from arriving now.
This is happening all around the country and you need to only look at reports from island communities like Nantucket to see where this could lead if you do not take action to mitigate the damage. We do not need to have this devolve into a situation where residents and non-residents are at odds with each other. People are afraid. Taking on non-residents will only worsen fears.
This is not about panic. It is about prudence. There is precedent and we need to do this closure sooner rather than later. This is not an extreme measure - it is happening around the world. Please read this letter from an islander in France about movement restrictions.
The Florida Keys have just now closed their highway to non-residents and they are making all non-long-term visitors leave by 6pm Sunday:
"Hotels, guest houses, short-term rentals in RV parks and vacation rentals have been directed to stop taking new reservations effective immediately. The only exception being made is for long-term renters in vacation homes and RV parks with contracts of 28 days or more. They’re allowed to stay until the end of their contracts. All other visitors must leave by 6pm on Sunday. Government officials took action despite health officials in Monroe County saying there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Keys. But officials are quick to point out that the majority of people who contract coronavirus have mild or no symptoms at all. The order in is in effect for the next 14 days and will be reevaluated on an ongoing basis."
Thank you for your consideration. I do not envy the position you are in, but please take action now to protect our community and our health care workers. If this is not within your power as the county council to take action, please let us know who does have this power.
- 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
- County council working to close all lodging facilities/transient moorage in the San Juan Islands through end of May
- 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
- 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.