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(INTELLIHUB) — Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in all counties and authorized activation of U.S. military following the first publically announced death from COVID-19.
“…The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person-to-person transmission throughout the United States and Washington State significantly impact the life and health of our people, as well as the economy of Washington State, and is a public disaster that affects life, health, property or the public peace,” the proclamation states.
I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above- noted situation, and under Chapters 38.08, 38.52 and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in all counties in the state of Washington, and direct the plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the outbreak.
Additionally, the proclamation authorizes the activation of the State Guard.
As a result of this event, I also hereby order into active state service the organized militia of Washington State to include the National Guard and the State Guard, or such part thereof as may be necessary in the opinion of The Adjutant General to address the circumstances described above, to perform such duties as directed by competent authority of the Washington State Military Department in addressing the outbreak. Additionally, I direct the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division, and other agencies to identify and provide appropriate personnel for conducting necessary and ongoing incident related assessments.
The movement of residents will be limited
From the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan:
There are three levels of activation for movement coordination in this appendix:
- Level I – Low level activation due to affected infrastructure limiting use of roadways to emergency supply shipments designated by Commercial Vehicle Passes (CVPs). This does not require use of a standalone MCC but is dependent upon effective coordination between the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington National Guard, US Customs and Border Protection (when logistics transportation crosses the U.S.-Canada border), and the SEOC. Use of MCPs as defined in this plan is not necessary for this level of activation.
- Level II – Moderate activation making available limited security escort of sensitive supply shipments. This does not require use of a standalone MCC but is dependent upon effective coordination between the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington National Guard, US Customs and Border Protection (when logistics transportation crosses the U.S.-Canada border), and the SEOC. MCPs may be used as gathering points for shipments traveling into affected jurisdictions. Normal use of the CVP system applies at this level.
- Level III – Full activation including a standalone MCC, multiple MCPs located strategically along major routes leading into the disaster affected area, possible law enforcement established traffic control points/roadblocks, and escorted convoys of emergency supplies. Level III activation is warranted when there is, in the judgment of the Disaster Manager, a distinct and credible threat to the safety of resources transiting through and to disaster areas due to civil unrest, substantial damage to infrastructure, or other restrictions or hazards to movement. Effective operation of a MCC and MCPs is dependent upon effective coordination between the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington National Guard, US Customs and Border Protection (when logistics transportation crosses the U.S.- Canada border), and the SEOC. The basic process for Level III movement coordination is reflected in the following flow chart:
A statement posted to the governor’s official website reads as follows:
Gov. Jay Inslee today declared a state of emergency in response to new cases of COVID-19, directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.
“This will allow us to get the resources we need,” Inslee said. “This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state. Our state agency directors have been actively preparing since the nation’s first case appeared in Snohomish County. Washingtonians can be assured we’ve taken this threat seriously and have been working in collaboration with our health care partners to develop plans and procedures to prepare for what could likely be a world-wide pandemic.”
He issued a proclamation that directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases. It also allows the use of the Washington National Guard, if necessary. In January, the Washington Military Department activated the State Emergency Operations Center at a Level 1, the highest level, to help coordinate a statewide response.
Today, Public Health – Seattle & King County announced the death of an individual with COVID-19, the first in the United States.
The nation’s first case of COVID-19 was found in a Snohomish County man in January. He had traveled to Wuhan, China and has now recovered. On Feb. 28, the state Department of Health announced two additional cases – a King County woman who had recently traveled to South Korea, and a Snohomish County teenager with no travel history. Both are recovering at home and remain in home isolation.
The Department of Health also announced last week that the Public Health Lab in Shoreline now has the capability to test for cases of COVID-19, expediting results.
“This means our state can respond quickly and effectively,” Inslee said. “Our priority now is to slow the spread of this virus. Our health care professionals say the easiest way to do that is to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often, sanitize frequently touched surfaces and stay home when you’re sick. Preventing future cases will require the work of all of us.”
For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation, visit the Department of Health’s website. The Governor’s Office has also developed a partial list of resources to support economic retention and recovery related to COVID-19 coronavirus.
The proclamation suggests the U.S. military is planning to rollout hot martial law statewide.
Intellihub Editor-In-Chief Shepard Ambellas was the first to announce that martial law would be declared in an American city due to coronavirus in his Feb 1 video warning.
BREAKING: Two more ambulances just arrived at Life Care Center of Kirkland nursing home under #CoronaVirus quarantine where three people were diagnosed with #Covid19 and one person died waiting for testing. Dozens other at the factility are being monitored and tested. pic.twitter.com/s3PCLxJ8MZ
— Alexander Higgins – Coronavirus Updates (@kr3at) March 2, 2020