Statewide K-12 School Closures
WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, I issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington State; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19, its significant progression in Washington State, and the high risk it poses to our most vulnerable populations, I have subsequently issued amendatory Proclamations 20-06, 20-07, and 20-08 exercising my emergency powers under RCW 43.06.220 by prohibiting certain activities and waiving and suspending specified laws and regulations; and
WHEREAS, the spread of COVID-19 has been classified by the World Health Organization as a pandemic that spreads easily from person to person and may result in serious illness or death; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 disease has spread quickly across the state of Washington, beyond the original community outbreaks in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, significantly increasing the threat of significant associated health risks statewide; and
WHEREAS, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have now spread to 15 counties in Washington State, which represents 75% of the State’s population, and the number of positive test results have increased 29% in the last four days; and
WHEREAS, while we do not fully understand the role children have in transmitting the virus, we do know they have a significant role in transmitting other respiratory viruses; and
WHEREAS, to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Washington State, it is necessary to implement additional stringent measures to limit opportunities for disease transmission statewide beyond King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties; and
WHEREAS, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and its progression in Washington State continues to threaten the life and health of our people as well as the economy of Washington State, and remains a public disaster affecting life, health, property or the public peace; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to maintain a Public Health Incident Management Team in coordination with the State Emergency Operations Center and other supporting state agencies to manage the public health aspects of the incident; and
WHEREAS, the Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division, through the State Emergency Operations Center, continues coordinating resources across state government to support the DOH and local health officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and continues
coordinating with the DOH in assessing the impacts and long-term effects of the incident on Washington State and its people.
NOW, THEREFORE, 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 continues to exist in all counties of Washington State, that Proclamations 20-05, 20-06, 20-07, and 20-08 remain in effect, and that Proclamation 20-08, pertaining to activities by public school districts, charter schools, and private schools, is amended to expand its application to all counties of the state of Washington, and shall continue to remain in effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 17, 2020, until 12:00 p.m. on April 24, 2020, unless extended beyond that date.
I again direct that the plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented throughout state government. State agencies and departments are directed to continue utilizing state resources and doing everything reasonably possible to support implementation of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
I continue to 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 continue to direct the DOH, 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.
Violators of this of this order may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.06.220(5).
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington on this 13th day of March, A.D., Two Thousand and Twenty at Olympia, Washington.
/s/ Jay Inslee, Governor
BY THE GOVERNOR:
/s/ Secretary of State