After videos of bumper-to-bumper parking at a local beach circulated over the weekend Pacific County closed their beaches and local cities are closing vacation rentals at vacation destinations.
A press release from the Pacific County commissioners Sunday said that effective immediately and continuing until further notice, all ocean beach approaches and hospitality lodging within Pacific County will be closed. This decision was made as a necessity to help control and prevent the spread of the dangerous and contagious COVID-19 disease. Pacific County Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager has determined that additional steps are now needed to limit gathering measures in light of the increasing scope and severity of the threat that COVID-19 poses.
Although we have zero confirmed COVID-19 cases within Pacific County, confirmed cases of infection and increasing instances of the infection spreading within other areas of Washington State warrant this order. Dr. Krager’s order was fully supported by the Pacific County Board of Commissioners, City of South Bend Mayor Julie Struck, City of Long Beach Mayor Jerry Phillips, City of Raymond Mayor Tony Nordin and the City of Ilwaco Mayor Gary Forner.
While this order will hopefully be temporary and will most certainly disrupt the daily mainstream of each respective jurisdiction’s operations, it is the hope of each jurisdiction that people are understanding and supportive of this decision. Once this order is lifted, each jurisdiction hopes that everyone will come back and enjoy our ocean beaches and all that Pacific County has to offer.
The order of closure is below. Please review the order for further information.
ORDER OF THE PACIFIC COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER
CLOSURE OF PACIFIC COUNTY BEACH APPROACHES
AND CLOSURE OF HOSPITALITY LODGING
DATE ORDER ISSUED: March 22, 2020
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order constitutes a
misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment up to ninety days, or both.
The virus that causes Coronavirus 2019 Disease (“COVID-19”) spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to safeguard the public and protect healthcare resources. The Pacific County Health Officer (“Health Officer”) has determined that steps to limit gathering measures are now necessary in Pacific County (“County”) in light of the increasing scope and severity of the threat that COVID-19 poses. Although not yet confirmed in Pacific County, confirmed cases of infection and increasing instances of community spread in Washington State require the limitations in this Order. Accordingly,
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF RCW 70.05.070
THE HEALTH OFFICER HEREBY ORDERS:
1. Effective immediately, as of 2:00 p.m. on March 22, 2020, and continuing until further notice, all beach approaches in Pacific County are closed until further notice. This is necessary to control and prevent the spread of a dangerous, contagious disease within the jurisdiction of the Pacific County Health Officer; to maintain health over the territory of this jurisdiction; and to promote the public health.
2. Effective immediately, as of 2:00 p.m. on March 22, 2020, and continuing until further notice, all hospitality lodging within the territorial boundaries of Pacific County is closed until further notice, with the following exceptions contained in paragraph 3 below. This is necessary to control and prevent the spread of a dangerous, contagious disease within the jurisdiction of the Pacific County Health Officer; to maintain health over the territory of this jurisdiction; and to promote the public health. “Hospitality lodging” includes:
a) Resort, Hotels, Motels
b) Short-term Rentals, Timeshares, Homestays (including Bed and Breakfast)
d) RV Parks
e) Private property being used as campgrounds
3. Exceptions for hospitality lodging. It shall not be a violation of this order for hospitality lodging to remain open to the following:
a) Any person who has resided in the hospitality lodging since March 17, 2020 or earlier. No new long-term rentals are allowed.
b) Any person employed in the hospitality lodging.
c) Any person working directly on the COVID-19 response. This includes healthcare professionals; first responders; national guard; law enforcement; local, state and federal government employees; and other essential personnel responding to the COVID-19 emergency.
d) Any person required by their employment to travel in Pacific County to provide services, shipping, or deliveries. This includes truck drivers and service providers.
e) Exceptions may also be approved in writing by the Public Health Officer or his designee for purposes necessary to assist in controlling or preventing the spread of COVID-19, or to promote the public health. Contact the Emergency Operations Center to request an exception.
4. Copies of this Order shall promptly be: (1) Posted on the County Public Health
Department website (https://www.pacificcountyhealthdepartment.com). (2) It is requested that the Washington State Parks as well as hospitality lodging entities post this Order on-site in a place viewable to the public, as well as on their website or social media platform.
5. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Order.
6. The Health Officer will continue to assess this quickly evolving situation and may at any time
modify, cancel, or extend this Order, or issue additional orders related to COVID-19.
PURSUANT TO RCW 70.05.070, THE HEALTH OFFICER REQUESTS THAT ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH AND ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ORDER.
Steven Krager, MD, MPH Date: March 22, 2020
Pacific County Deputy Health Officer
The City of Westport issued a statement on Sunday as well from the Mayor and City Council directing all transient vacation rental homes, hotels, motels or other transient rental businesses, except for current users registered for longer than 30 days and as authorized by the County, State, or Federal Health Authorities, to be closed within 24 hours effective this date to limit the influx of outside visitors that could potentially spread the COVID-19 virus.
The City of Westport added they do “not control the beaches or State Parks, but the City is taking the steps it can to limit access through road closures.”