Wednesday, July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020

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Clark County finding new normal after governor’s stay-home directive

The Columbian
Published:
4 Photos
A sparse but steady flow of vehicles moves under a sign on Interstate 5 reading "STAY HOME, LIMIT TRAVEL, SAVE LIVES" in Vancouver on Tuesday. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a temporary stay-at-home order Monday evening to slow the spread of COVID-19.
A sparse but steady flow of vehicles moves under a sign on Interstate 5 reading "STAY HOME, LIMIT TRAVEL, SAVE LIVES" in Vancouver on Tuesday. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a temporary stay-at-home order Monday evening to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Clark County is adjusting to the new normal following Gov. Jay Inslee’s orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. The governor ordered the state’s more than 7 million residents to stay home, unless necessary, and for nonessential businesses to close for at least two weeks.

Monday’s order expanded on a previous directive that banned large gatherings and closed bars and dine-in restaurants. The governor said he was concerned many weren’t taking the outbreak seriously, after people over the weekend flocked to beaches and other outdoor attractions. The extra measures, he said, were needed in order to save lives.

Since his orders, traffic on Interstates 5 and 205 has been noticeably lighter. There’s abundant parking in downtown Vancouver. Many offices sit empty as employees work from home.

People are required to stay home unless they are involved in an essential activity, such as shopping for groceries, going to a medical appointment or working at an essential business.

An “essential worker” is one who works in a select industry that maintains the critical structure of society in Washington.

More information

Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Health Officer and Public Health Director, speaks to the media. Clark County Public Health: Staying 6-feet apart key to stopping virus spread
It can be hard to understand what is and isn’t allowed under social-distancing recommendations as new restrictions have rolled out over the past couple of…
Buses line up to transport student from Covington Middle School on Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020. Clark County schools adjusting to Inslee directive
Since March 16, nothing has been settled for area school districts and colleges. It took only a week for the situation to become even more…
C-Tran buses to persist with new guidelines
C-Tran describes itself as an essential service and has said it will continue to operate during the statewide stay-at-home order.
Clark County churches turn to newsletters, social media
Prior to Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order, Living Hope Church held drive-in church services in its parking lot to encourage social distancing while still worshipping…

The sectors include: health care and public health; emergency services, which includes law enforcement, first responders and Public Works; food and agriculture; energy; waste and wastewater; transportation and logistics; communications and IT; community-based government operations and essential functions, which includes the courts and construction workers; critical manufacturing; hazardous materials; financial services; chemical; and defense industrial base.

Each category has a long list of specific jobs that are considered essential. The full list can be found at www.coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business.

On Tuesday, many local agencies and groups took proactive steps to show what they’re doing to comply with the restrictions. The Columbian’s staff checked on a few of the key areas to see what was happening.

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