Inslee issues Safe Start proclamation for county approach to re-opening

May 31, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee today issued his Safe Start proclamation as the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is set to expire tonight at 11:59 PM. 

The governor announced Safe Start — Washington’s Phased Reopening plan on Friday during a press conference where he detailed the county-by-county approach. 

“Thanks to Washingtonians pulling together, we can transition fully to our county-by-county approach to safely reopen,” Inslee said. “If we remain diligent and committed to more effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to save lives and open up more businesses while protecting our friends and neighbors.”

Washington will move through the phased reopening county-by-county allowing for flexibility and local control to address COVID-19 activity geographically. 

Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page. 

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Inslee announces religious and faith-based services guidance

May 27, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the state’s plan for restarting religious and faith-based services for Phases 1 and 2 of Washington’s “Safe Start” reopening plan. 

Beginning today, religious and faith-based organizations in Phase 1 counties may host up to 100 people for outdoor services. In Phase 2, they can host up to 25% of their capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is less, as well as conduct in-home services of five people.

“As I have said before, this crisis may affect our ability to physically connect but it should not affect our power to strengthen our emotional connections,” Inslee said during a press conference Wednesday. “I have been heartened to see the ways religious groups found to not only continue to connect, but to give back and to support their communities in this time of suffering and uncertainty.” 

The religious services covered include all worship services, religious study classes, religious ceremonies, religious holiday celebrations, weddings and funerals.

The guidance is available here.  Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.

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Inslee Announces Restart of all Medical Services in Washington

May 18, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the state’s plan for all elective procedures to resume. Each medical or dental practice will assess their own readiness and their communities’ COVID-19 activity to determine whether, and to what degree, they will reopen.

“Our health care system was one of the first in the nation to be hit with COVID-19 cases when there was much we were still learning about the novel virus. Because of the great work of our health care system and communities, we managed the peak of COVID-19 activity in April without having a crisis in our hospitals,” Inslee said. “This plan was developed with many partners in our health care delivery system — including nurses, surgeons, pediatricians, dentists, community health clinics and hospitals.”

Aside from being determined by the COVID-19 activity in different regions of the state, the reopening of health care services are based on three standards of care. Readiness will be determined by the availability of PPE, hospital capacity and more. 

Under this plan, each health care or dental provider must meet certain criteria to be able to begin performing elective procedures. Each provider evaluates their readiness to begin and must maintain standards to continue to see patients. Read the rest of the story on the governor’s Medium page.

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Chelan County Press Release

Public Notice relating to Chelan-Douglas County Phase 2 Proposal Letter to Governor Inslee

May 14, 2020

During our Wednesday, May 13th Chelan County Commission meeting, Chelan and Douglas County Commissioners approved a detailed proposal requesting that our two-county region be allowed to move to an incremental version of Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan as soon as possible. Included in the packet are letters of support from local governments, small businesses, faith leaders, and other community leaders and organizations.

Letter to Governor – Phase Plan PDF

Chelan and Douglas Variance Request PDF

Chelan County Public Notice Relating to Short-Term Rentals

Press Release

May 4, 2020

During our Monday May 4th Chelan County Commission meeting Resolution 2020-32, relating to the Emergency Declaration for Chelan County, was extended as resolution 2020-48 until May 31, 2020. However Resolution 2020-39, relating to Short-Term Rentals (STR) was not extended and shall expire at midnight tonight.

We are continuing to move forward to evaluate the role STRs play in our diverse communities in Chelan County. Our current schedule is to finalize our regulations by early August.

We ask that the STR community continue to be aware of the general concern over the COVID-19 situation and incorporate that concern in their operating procedures.

Chelan County Public Notice Relating to STR PDF

Inslee Signs New COVID-19 Order for Phased Re-Opening of Washington’s Economy

Safe Start Washington – A Phased Approach to Recovery

May 4, 2020

Some businesses could re-open as early as this week under the new COVID-19 order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. The state’s “Safe Start” plan is a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy.

Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide.

Safe Start sets a careful approach to emerging from the pandemic. It allows for modifications of business closures and physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. 

“This phased approach to re-opening our economy will allow us to move forward with a careful and thoughtful balance of our state’s health and economic needs,” Inslee said. “However, if infection rates and hospitalizations for COVID-related issues go up, I would not hesitate to scale these efforts back down to protect public health and save lives.

“I fully recognize the impact this is having on families, workers and businesses, but we have not yet won the fight against this virus,” Inslee continued. “We continue to see infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths across the state from COVID-19.” 

While Stay Home, Stay Healthy is being extended to the end of May, the governor announced his Safe Start plan which amends some components of the original order and allow for a start to re-open the state. 

Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities would re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — data and metrics will determine when the state can move from one phase to another.

Read the full Safe Start policy plan here.

Read the full story on the governor’s Medium page.

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Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-46

Resinding Resolution 2020-42 Re: Pre-Existing Home Sales Agreements to Proceed During the Stay Home Stay Healthy Proclamation

WHEREAS, Chelan County adopted Resolution 2020-42 to provide guidance to the local construction community with regard to pending construction projects, and

WHEREAS, Chelan County intended this action to follow the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, and

WHEREAS, the county communicated its intentions to the Governor’s office in advance of the adoption of Resolution 2020-42 however the Governor’s office had no response at that time, and

WHEREAS, the county has received notice from the Governor’s office today indicating that the Governor’s office considers Resolution 2020-42 to conflict with the Governor’s proclamations and guidance memoranda regarding Stay Home Stay Healthy and also construction activity.

NOW, therefore, be it hereby resolved and enacted that

Resolution 2020-42 is hereby fully rescinded and revoked effective immediately.

The public is referred to the Governor’s proclamations, appendices, and guidance memoranda as authority for what activities are allowed to be conducted at this time during the COVID 19 pandemic emergency.

Dated at Wenatchee, Washington, this 21st day of April, 2020.

Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-46 PDF

Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-42

A Resolution Allowing Pre-Existing Home Sales Agreements to Proceed During the Stay Home Stay Healthy Proclamation

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, the Governor of the State of Washington issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout Washington as a result of the COVID -19 outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington State; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Washington found that the outbreak significantly impacts the life and health of the people of the State of Washington, as well as the economy of Washington State; and

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, the Chelan County Board of Commissioners declared a State of Emergency in Chelan County due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Resolution 2020-32); and

WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, the Governor of the State of Washington issued Proclamation 20-25, which amended 20-05, defined permitted and prohibited activities, and ordered non­essential businesses to cease operations at midnight of that day; and

WHEREAS, on March 27, 2020, the Governor of the State of Washington issued a memorandum providing for Real Estate and Mortgage guidance in the context of essential activities; and

WHEREAS, the Governor recognized that some construction activity was necessary to prevent detriment to essential activities, and also to prevent damage or unsafe conditions regarding nonessential businesses and residential structures, and thus provided further guidance via Governor’s 03/25/2020 guidance memorandum regarding construction pertaining to Proclamation 20-25.

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Washington recognized the potential for significant legal liability and displacement for thousands of people in transitional mortgage and real estate transactions, and approved such real estate transactions as essential activities subject to certain restrictions and limitations (Governor’s 03/27/2020 guidance memorandum re: Proclamation 20- 25).

NOW THEREFORE, the Chelan County Board of Commissioners, do hereby proclaim that current, pre-existing home sales may proceed to build completion as an essential activity under the Governor of the State of Washington’s guidance subject to the following conditions:

  1. A signed affidavit stating there is an existing Purchase and Sale agreement or Real Estate contract for a single-family residence only and an issued building permit on or before March 27, 2020 must be provided.
  2. Due to rising lake level (spoliation) of the Lake Chelan controlled reservoir, seawalls, piers/docks that require pilings or concrete foundations that have building permits issued on or before March 27, 2020 are eligible for consideration.
  3. The Director of the Community Development Department will then determine if said building is at a stage where spoliation may occur if the construction is discontinued.
  4. An authorization letter will then be issued by the Chelan County Community Development Department and will only be applicable to projects referred to in (1) and (2).
  5. Property viewings, inspections, appraisals and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment only, and be limited to two people at each occurrence. Inspections may require additional measures as required by the building inspector.
  6. All persons on site must observe social distancing guidelines and applicable health and worker protection measures, as per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-25.
  7. County authorization letter must be posted on site.
  8. Chelan County inspections and authorization to continue work does not supersede nor waive the obligation of the applicant to meet permitting requirements or approvals of other agencies of jurisdiction.
  9. This Resolution may be rescinded or superseded any time at the direction of the Chelan County Board of Commissioners.
  10. Nothing herein is intended to be inconsistent with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-05 and 20-25.

Dated at Wenatchee, Washington, this 14th day of April, 2020.

Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-42 PDF

Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-39

Amending Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 Response Ordering Stay At Home and Amending and Clarifying Resolution 2020-38

April 13, 2020

Whereas, on March 17, 2020, Chelan County adopted and enacted Resolution 2020-32 declaring an emergency in order to respond to the COVID-19 virus pandemic emergency, and

Whereas, on April 6, 2020, Chelan County adopted and enacted Resolution 2020-38 amending and extending the emergency declaration in Resolution 2020-32, and

Whereas, since the adoption of Resolution 2020-38, the county has received numerous questions regarding the scope, applicability, and implementation of Resolution 2020-38 which create the need to clarify Resolution 2020-38, and

Whereas, the County recognizes the Mayors and Councils of Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Entiat, and Chelan, have the responsibility and capability to adopt the proclamations and enactments they deem necessary for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare in their jurisdictions, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Chelan County Board of Commissioners hereby orders as follows:

  1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated herein as findings, conclusions, and orders.
  2. Previously enacted Resolution 2020-32, Resolution 2020-38, and the Governor’s Proclamations, including but not limited to 20-25 and 20-25.1, enacting the Stay Home, Stay Healthy declaration through May 4, 2020, are incorporated herein.
  3. There continues to be an emergency which necessitates the continued activation of the Chelan County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, activation of the Chelan County Emergency Operations Center, and utilization of emergency powers granted by statute.
  4. Applicability:
    a. This order shall only apply in the unincorporated areas of Chelan County and shall not apply within any of the municipal corporate boundaries of the Cities of Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Entiat, or Chelan.
    b. This order shall not apply to any land owned or operated by the State of Washington, United States of America, or any special purpose districts including but not necessarily limited to public utility, school, hospital, sewer, water, irrigation, fire, park, reclamation, cemetery, or port districts.
    c. This order shall not apply to any tribal land, Indian trust land, or allotments.
    d. This order shall not apply to private campgrounds.
  5. The use of any vehicle, recreational or otherwise, for camping, sleeping, or occupancy while not traveling in Chelan County is prohibited, unless said use occurs on owner’s property and is limited to owner and owner’s family, or else at a private campsite or facility.
  6. All Short Term/Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO shall cease renting accommodations and shall close; no use or occupancy is allowed regardless of whether it is compensated or not, subject to the provisions of subsections 4, 7, and 8 herein.
  7. This order applies to all such structures, uses, rentals, and/or occupancies regardless of whether or not:
    a Conditional Use Permit has been granted
    b. a building or structure constitutes a single family residence
    c. a single unit, portion, subsection, or entire building or structure is rented
    d. management is present or nearby
    e. cooking or food preparation equipment or capabilities exist
    f. the length of the lease is less than 30 days
  8. Owners and operators of Short Term/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO or campground and camping facilities in Chelan County shall assist in the implementation of Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1 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 in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided by Proclamation 20-25. Nothing in this order requires the removal of persons who are already staying in transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities at the time this order is made.
  9. Nothing herein is intended to be inconsistent with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 or 25.1.
  10. Violations of this order are hereby declared to be detrimental to public health, safety, and welfare and are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and are contrary to Chelan County Code. RCW 36.32.120( 10).
  11. Any person willfully violating the Governor’s emergency proclamations can be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof is subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars and/or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 364 days. RCW 43.06.220(5).
  12. Any person violating health department orders made for the prevention, suppression and control of dangerous contagious and infectious diseases, or for leaving isolation without the consent of the proper health officer, can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof is subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars and/or to imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed ninety days. RCW 70.05.120(4)
  13. This order shall remain in effect until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.
  14. This resolution requiring compliance with Proclamations 20-25 and 25.1, Stay Home, during the COVID-19 Emergency shall become effective immediately.
  15. The state of emergency declaration enacted in Resolution 2020-32 is hereby extended until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.
  16. This resolution amends and clarifies Resolutions 2020-32 and 2020-38. In any instance where the provisions of this resolution conflict with the provisions of Resolutions 2020-32 or 2020-38, the provisions of this resolution supersede and control.

Dated at Wenatchee, Washington, this 13th day of April, 2020

Chelan County Resolution 2020-39 PDF

Chelan County Resolution No. 2020-38

Amending Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 Response Ordering Stay At Home

April 6, 2020

Whereas, on March 17, 2020, Chelan County adopted and enacted Resolution 2020-32 declaring an emergency in order to respond to the COVID-19 virus pandemic emergency, and

Whereas, Resolution 2020-32 listed findings and conclusions supporting the emergency declaration and the county’s response thereto, including reliance on Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 proclamations and the activation of the county’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and

Whereas, since Resolution 2020-32 was adopted and enacted, Governor Inslee has issued further proclamations related to the COVID-19 emergency including Proclamation 20-25 which directs Washingtonians to stay at home, and

Whereas, Governor lnslee has extended the Stay Home, Stay Health Proclamation to May 4, 2020, in Proclamation 20-25.1, and

Whereas, the number of infected persons and/or fatalities caused by COVID-19 continues to increase statewide and in Chelan County, and

Whereas, Chelan County shares a common border with multiple counties including this state’s most populated county, King County, and

Whereas, more than one state highway directly connects Chelan and King Counties, and

Whereas, since the COVID -19 emergency was declared by Governor Inslee on February 29, 2020, there has been an influx of people coming to Chelan County from higher populated urban centers and counties who have expressed the belief that they expect better access to medical and other public facilities, groceries, and services by relocating to Chelan County during the emergency period, and

Whereas, this assumption is inaccurate as Chelan County has less hospital beds available per capita than is needed and other public facilities are short in supply on a per capita basis, and

Whereas, Confluence Health already has regional and not merely countywide responsibilities, further stressing the availability of services to the population it serves, and

Whereas, people coming to Chelan County in recreational or other vehicles to avoid COVID-19 emergency directives and recommendations in other communities are negatively impacting the public health, safety, and welfare in Chelan County and are also disregarding and disobeying Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.1 by not staying home, and

Whereas, living in recreational and other vehicles creates traffic and sanitation hazards, and also creates trespass and other public safety problems, all which stress law enforcement and first responder resources which are already stressed by the COVID-19 emergency, and

Whereas, an influx of people using Inns, Lodges, Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Motels, Campgrounds, Conference Centers, Short Term or Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO, further stresses beyond capacity the availability of basic public health, safety, and welfare services and facilities in Chelan County and further constitutes disregard for and disobedience of Governor Inslee’s Stay at Home Proclamation 20-25 and now Proclamation 25.1, and

Whereas, Proclamation 20-25 lists hotel and motel staff as essential workers exempt from the proclamation’s order to stay home, and

Whereas, the use of a Short Term Rental/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO for 30 days or less is not a use akin to hotel or motel use or occupancy, and

Whereas, Hotels, Motels, Inns, and Lodges enforce room and facility occupancy limits and have on-site management at all times, and are not typically located in residential zones, and

Whereas, Chapter 38.52 RCW and the county’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan authorizes the county to direct relocation of residents and/or evacuation of people, sheltering, sheltering-in-place, facility lockdown, where to obtain food and water, and other emergency response information, and

Whereas, Chelan County and the Chelan Douglas Health District have twice recently contacted the owners and operators of Short Term /Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO in this county and requested their cooperation in not renting to people from outside Chelan or Douglas Counties during the emergency, and

Whereas, this request was intended to assist the first responders and medical personnel from within Chelan and Douglas Counties who need alternative residential accommodations due to their risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their daily work creating their need to reduce the risk of exposure to their own families, and

Whereas, Chelan County is aware of multiple instances where Short Term/Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO have disregarded Chelan County and the Chelan­Douglas Health District’s request for cooperation and they continue to rent to people who do not need alternative residential accommodations to assist them in performance of their essential worker duties during this emergency, and

Whereas, the websites of various Short Term Nacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO demonstrate lack of compliance with Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. 1 as well as Chelan County and the Chelan-Douglas Health District’s requests, and

Whereas, the current conduct of the owners and operators of Short Term /Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO disregards and disobeys Governor Inslee’s Stay Home Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. 1 and places the public health, welfare, and safety, of the citizens and residents of Chelan County at great risk.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Chelan County Board of Commissioners hereby orders as follows:

  1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated herein as findings, conclusions, and orders.
  2. Previously enacted Resolution 2020-32 and the Governor’s Proclamations, including but not limited to 20-25 and 20-25.1, enacting the Stay Home, Stay Healthy declaration through May 4, 2020, are incorporated herein.
  3. There continues to be an emergency which necessitates the continued activation of the Chelan County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, activation of the Chelan County Emergency Operations Center, and utilization of emergency powers granted by statute.
  4. The use of any vehicle, recreational or otherwise, for camping, sleeping, or occupancy while not traveling in Chelan County is prohibited, unless said use occurs on owner’s property and is limited to owner and owner’s family.
  5. All public and private campgrounds in Chelan County are closed and all camping on private or public property is prohibited and no rental of camping sites or spaces for any length of time is permitted regardless of whether the customer is using a tent, temporary shelter, structure, trailer, or vehicle of any type, subject to the provisions of subsections 7 and 8 herein.
  6. All Short Term/Vacation Rentals including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO shall cease renting accommodations and shall close; no use or occupancy is allowed regardless of whether it is compensated or not, subject to the provisions of subsections 7 and 8 herein.
  7. This order applies to all such uses, rentals, and/or occupancies regardless of whether or not:
    1. Conditional Use Permit has been granted
    2. a building or structure constitutes a single family residence
    3. a single unit, portion, subsection, or entire building or structure is rented
    4. management is present or nearby
    5. cooking or food preparation equipment or capabilities exist
    6. the length of the lease is more or less than 30 days
  8. Owners and operators of Short Term/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO or campground and camping facilities in Chelan County shall assist in the implementation of Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25. l 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 in essential business services, or (3) as otherwise provided by Proclamation 20-25. Nothing in this order requires the removal of persons who are already staying in transient accommodations or campground and camping facilities at the time this order is made.
  9. Nothing herein is intended to be inconsistent with Governor Inslee’s Proclamations 20-25 or 25.1.
  10. Violation of this order shall constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of $500.00 per day imposed upon the owner, operator, or manager of a Short Term/Vacation Rental including but not necessarily limited to Air B&B and VRBO, and any campground or camping facility to be cited, imposed, and assessed by the Sheriff.
  11. This order shall remain in effect until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.
  12. This resolution requiring compliance with Proclamations 20-25 and 25.1, Stay Home, during the COVID-19 Emergency shall become effective immediately.
  13. The state of emergency declaration enacted in Resolution 2020-32 is hereby extended until midnight on May 4, 2020, unless extended beyond that date by the Board of County Commissioners.

Dated at Wenatchee, Washington, this 6th day of April, 2020.

Chelan County Resolution 2020-38 PDF