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Should WA towns with few coronavirus cases be subject to statewide standards?

Gov. Jay Inslee, answers a question at a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak.(photo by Elaine Thompson-Pool/Getty Images)

This week, Governor Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order. We’re checking in all across Washington state to see how individual communities are prepared for the escalation of restrictions.

Snohomish County chair Nate Nehring joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss the stay-at-home order’s impact on the county and whether areas with less cases should be subject to the same standards.

“I think it is necessary. I think it’s really important that we’re staying home to try to limit the spread of the virus. We’re already seeing both in Washington and in other states throughout the country and really throughout the world that this is spreading rapidly,” Nehring said. “And so I think that any step we can take to limit that spread, and really take precautions to help the most vulnerable, will lead to saving lives.”

One of the issues is establishing the statewide standard for cities big and small, and communities with many cases versus communities with few. To someone who’s living in a city right now that has maybe one or two infections reported and that’s it, they might understand such an order for King County, but wonder why they need it too.

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“Well, what I would say is that there are cases just about everywhere and with the rate of the spread, I think it’s just better to be overly cautious. So even if you’re in a place where maybe it’s not as bad as it is in Seattle or an epicenter, I think it’s a lot better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

“It’s really difficult as a local government leader for us to be making individual decisions, not knowing what others are doing. I think it’s just a lot easier when everybody’s on the same page.”

As Jason noted, many people are saying kudos to not forcing essential services to close down. But they have an essential job because it’s essential to get paid so they can pay rent. What is the plan right now in Snohomish County to deal with some of the increase economic anxiety?

“We’re working at a local level to be constantly communicating with our partners in the business community and employees who rely on on those wages, as they stay in their homes and pay their living expenses,” he said. “And then at the state and federal level we’re advocating for resources to come back and help individuals who have been financially impacted by this, whether they’re not able to work or whether the business is closing down, whatever is happening.”

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What’s the level of concern specifically with Boeing shutting down for at least two weeks?

“I think it is concerning; Boeing is the top employer in the county, one of the biggest ones in the state. I think it’s going to have a significant economic impact. I do think it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Nehring said. “There were several confirmed cases at Boeing, so I’m glad that they took the action. I think that showed great leadership and I’m confident that they’ll be able to bounce back.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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