‘Desperate appeal’ for cautionary actions
The Okanogan County commissioners responded promptly to impassioned pleas for a statement from all of them to urge residents to act responsibly to control the spread of COVID-19 as the county’s cases increased six-fold in the past month.
The day after Okanogan County Community Health Director Lauri Jones begged the board to make a strong, unified statement, the commissioners approved a proclamation written by Commissioner Chris Branch.
The commissioners incorporated a suggestion from a community member to add a statement saying that the efforts of businesses and the public show we are “Okanogan Strong!” Each commissioner added a signed personal statement to the proclamation.
The individual statements highlighted specific concerns. Board Chair DeTro, who has consistently stated his objection to government mandates, particularly with regard to masks, urged people to take precautions and use curbside pick-up if they are not able to wear a mask for health reasons.
Vice-Chair Branch wrote that he relies on state and local health officials, and their expertise in limiting the spread of disease, as the basis for his decisions. Hover reminded constituents that the effort to control the virus is not a political issue, but one that’s critical to everyone’s health and safety, and to the health of the regional economy.