Pressure builds for shelter-in-place order in Washington
After a weekend where hundreds of people crowded spots like West Seattle’s Alki Beach and Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park, pressure is being put on local officials to enact a statewide shelter-in-place directive.
In a letter addressed to Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn stated that he believes the government “needs to immediately issue a ‘stay at home’ order.”
“The potential public health benefits, in my judgment, far outweigh the inconveniences of the order,” Dunn’s letter reads. “The probability of grave illness and widespread death, is very high compared to the burden of folks being directed to stay home.”
A Change.org petition calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to issue a shelter-in-place order echoed those sentiments, garnering over 3,600 signatures. Meanwhile, both Everett and Edmonds have gone ahead and issued “stay at home” orders of their own.
“People are out in large groups now more then ever!” the online petition reads. “We have a small window and it’s almost gone. Who wants to tell our kids we didn’t do everything possible for the comfort of a selfish few?”
Washington’s Lummi Indian Business Council also announced it was requiring all tribal members to remain in their homes — except for essential trips — through April 5.
Teamsters Local 174 issued a letter imploring the governor to take action as well.
“If you care at all about working people and their health and safety, you need to institute a lockdown/shelter-in-place order immediately,” the letter reads.
Despite warnings from Gov. Inslee on Friday that more stringent measures would be enacted if people continued not to observe proper social distancing, Seattle police were forced to clear crowds of people out of Cal Anderson Park on Saturday.
“Your current conduct is placing yourself and your fellow Seattleites in danger and I’m asking you to leave this area,” an officer told the crowd over a loudspeaker.
A shelter-in-place order could be on the horizon in Washington. The Joint Information Center (JIC) tells Washington sheriffs and police chiefs they should plan for an imminent coronavirus shelter-in-place directive, in a memo obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
The memo, sent Sunday evening, is intended to coordinate how law enforcement will message a coronavirus shelter-in-place order to the public. It does not say the order will definitely come; instead, they want law enforcement to be ready.