The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

State okays Wahkiakum County move to Phase 3 opening


Wahkiakum County on Friday received word from the state Department of Health that the county can move to a Phase 3 opening status.

Some guideline details remain to be worked out, sad Chris Bischoff, county Director of Health and Human Services.

Following is the text from John Wiesman, state secretary of health:

June 5, 2020

Chris Bischoff, Director

Wahkiakum Health and Human Services

64 Main Street

Cathlamet, Washington 989612

Dear Director Bischoff:

I am in receipt of the Wahkiakum County’s COVID-19 application requesting approval to fully

implement Phase III of Governor Inslee’s Phased Approach to Reopening Washington Plan. I have

found your application to be complete and your public health, health care, and community resources

to be appropriate for consideration.

Wahkiakum County’s Phase III application is hereby approved with the following conditions:

1. An individual Phase III business sector (such as movie theaters, libraries, and museums) may

reopen only AFTER the state publishes its guidelines for the specific sector, and I anticipate that

posting today. An individual business is only allowed to reopen after it can implement those

guidelines. The guidelines can be accessed at

2. Your department must notify the Washington State Department of Health 24/7 on-call

communicable disease duty officer at (206) 418-5500 of any COVID-19 outbreak within your

jurisdiction and must do so within six (6) hours of your notification.

3. You are required to monitor the pandemic in your community for signs of community

transmission or any concerning acceleration. If you find such condition(s), you must promptly

notify the Washington State Department of Health 24/7 on-call communicable disease duty

officer at (206) 418-5500 and request a consult with the state’s infectious disease epidemiologist

or health officer.

4. No decisions have been made yet on a timeline for a county moving to Phase IV.

Subject to the conditions in this approval, the activities and business services listed in Phase III of

Governor Inslee’s Phased Approach to Reopening Washington Plan are now permitted in

Wahkiakum County. These activities and business services are:

• Recreation: Outdoor group recreational sports activities of 50 or fewer people; recreational

facilities at <50% capacity (gyms, public pools, etc.), and professional sports without audience

participation (horseracing, baseball, etc.)

• Gatherings: Allow gatherings with no more than 50 people

• Travel: Resume non-essential travel

• Businesses/employers:

o Restaurants/taverns <75% capacity and table size no larger than 10

o Bar areas in restaurants/taverns at <25% capacity

o Movie theaters at <50% capacity

o Customer-facing government services (telework remains strongly encouraged)

o Libraries

o Museums

o All other business activities not yet listed except for nightclubs and events with greater than

50 people

People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit their participation in these Phase III

activities and business services. High-risk populations are currently defined by the CDC as:

• Persons 65 years of age and older;

• People of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled),


o People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,

o People who have serious heart conditions,

o People who are immunocompromised,

o People with severe obesity,

o People with diabetes,

o People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and

o People with liver disease; and

• People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

I may revoke this approval if circumstances change within your jurisdiction, such as a significant

community transmission, no or minimal access to CVOID-19 testing, inadequate surge capacity in

the hospital, inadequate PPE supplies, inadequate case and contact investigations, inadequate

performance on daily contact for cases in isolation or contacts in quarantine, inadequate isolation or

quarantine facilities, or other conditions warranting significant concern. My intent would be to

discuss my concerns with you prior to taking such action. However, if I find urgent concerns, I

reserve the right to immediately revoke the approval. The Governor also retains the right to reimpose restrictions upon your jurisdiction under his authority.

The Washington State Department of Health stands ready to provide any technical assistance you

may need in your implementation. We appreciate your work and commitment to your community.


John Wiesman, DrPH,


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