UPDATE: Governor’s media briefing, with updates on reporting/enforcement of health-order violations

2:04 PM: Click into the live feed to see and hear Gov. Inslee‘s latest briefing on the coronavirus crisis, happening right now. No hint of any major announcements to come, but for those who want to hear the latest about state action regarding the crisis as-it-happens, here you go. We’ll add toplines as it goes.

He notes it’s now been a month since the first COVID-19 case in our state. He says that everyone needs to “be on the team” to fight the virus, and they’re getting reports from people concerned about non-compliance, so he’s announcing guidance for how to report violations. He says it’s a three-step process:

-Citations and if necessary revocation of business licenses
-Referring to state Attorney General as an “absolute last resort”

If you think a business is violating the order, find a “one-stop form” at coronavirus.wa.gov. Otherwise, it’s a local decision – do NOT call 911 if you for example see a gathering that seems to be a rule violation.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson then takes the mic. Along with reinforcing what the governo said, he talks about the eviction moratorium and says they’re getting complaints that not all landlords are complying, so keep letting them know.

He’s followed by State Patrol chief John Batiste who says “as a last resort, we can arrest people,” but hopes they won’t have to.

2:18 PM: In Q&A, the governor is asked why he doesn’t just go ahead and extend the stay-home order, given the new White House guidance through April 30th. He says they look at data daily rather than making a “doctrinaire approach” – though “from the data we have today, it is highly likely” that measures will go past the current order’s April 6th end. He cites the positive-test rates from some non-urban counties as one “alarming” new factor.

Next question: Why is the enforcement plan focusing on businesses rather than “pulling over cars”? While the governor says he doesn’t really want to have to do the latter, they still need more people to reduce their non-essential trips.

Other questions include more discussion of enforcement – don’t call 911, it’s again stressed – and the availability of test kits. They’re trying hard to find local manufacturers, the governor says, but they really need a national effort to make more tests. … He’s also asked about educational equity, and concerns about so many kids having inequitable access to education wth schools closed. He voices regret for that but says the virus must be defeated so this is “once in a lifetime” situation, and that has to take precedence.

3:05 PM: The governor’s wrapped the briefing, after an hour. The video window above should before long show the archived recording of it.

46 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor's media briefing, with updates on reporting/enforcement of health-order violations"

  • JoyRide March 30, 2020 (3:06 pm)

    I don’t really understand the worry about cars on the road. People in cars are completely isolated and pose no health risk (other than your normal car/accident risks).  I know that I’ve gone out for a drive to simply ease the monotony of being inside. It’s not people being in cars that is the problem, it is where they go when they get out (assuming they do, which, again, may not be the case) that is the problem. So, focusing on people traffic at businesses/parks/etc is what makes sense. Social distancing is achieved 100% while in a car. Just sayin…

    • WSB March 30, 2020 (3:13 pm)

      And that’s what the governor said – if you’re, oh, say, driving into the mountains for a hike, you might end up stopping at a gas station, or to get food, and every person you come in contact with is another exposure risk, etc.

    • Wolfgang March 30, 2020 (3:20 pm)

      A non essential cruise around the neigborhood so you can waste gas and continue to keep breaking quarantine when you head to the pump to touch yet another public surface is only going to lead to a national guard lockdown and I’m sure they’d love to hear your excuse for leaving the house. 

      • Barry March 30, 2020 (4:58 pm)

        The city is not under “quarantine.” Words matter. 

      • Bradley March 30, 2020 (8:39 pm)

        We’re not under “quarantine”. Even Inslee said “you can go for a drive” the other day. Outdoor exercise, traveling to get food, traveling to care for a loved one, traveling to seek auto repair, medical care, pharmacy items, and financial services are all listed as “essential needs” under the Order. Interfering with someone seeking essential needs during a declared National Emergency is a crime and I wouldn’t advise it.

      • WR March 30, 2020 (9:59 pm)

        Wolfgang, what on earth are you talking about?  We are not under quarantine. 

    • waikikigirl March 30, 2020 (5:43 pm)

      You say you’re out in you car because you’re getting cabin fever but while out for that joyride you say to yourself “oh it won’t hurt to stop and pick-up something” just going to run in and run out… who’s to say while your quick run in and out get’s you infected by someone that’s a carrier???!Please everyone stay home if not working at an Essential Job  and let’s get RID OF THIS VIRUS!

      • West Seattle since 1979 March 31, 2020 (6:17 am)

        I thought all the non-essential businesses are closed? They might be picking up something they need.

    • Tim March 30, 2020 (5:47 pm)

      It’s probably about car accidents. Hospitals don’t need any more patients, and emergency services are stretched thin. Car accidents are a huge strain on resources.

    • Greg March 30, 2020 (9:33 pm)

      Not exactly 100%.  100% will be zero cars.  With every car on the road;  lawfully obligated enforcement agencies must assign assets. Home Unity.

  • Chris March 30, 2020 (3:44 pm)

    I heard our commander and chief saying in a press conference that he does not like our governor. He will not return calls to Jay Inslee  and has asked the vice president to do that job. It feels like we are getting shafted for federal aid because the president has a personal beef with our governor. Or maybe it’s because he knows were going to vote blue on election day,  we are not a swing state.

    • Elton March 30, 2020 (3:53 pm)

      He’s antagonizing New York (another blue state), too, so not necessarily a huge surprise. He apparently has enough smart people advising him that he has changed his stance multiple times during this crisis in the roughly correct direction – at the end of the day, having the home of one of the largest ports on the western seaboard out of commission won’t bode well for him so he’ll have to help.

    • CAM March 30, 2020 (4:00 pm)

      Feels like? He’s outright telling you that’s true. There’s only one state that has received 100% of the aid they’ve requested. Florida. He’s told you. If you want him to instruct people to help you, lick his boots. Pence has been remarkably even handed in his aid to different states so it’s not completely a lost cause but the whole thing is appalling. 

  • gooseface March 30, 2020 (3:51 pm)

    Goodness, getting gas is nothing compared to going to the grocery store.  Surely there is some room left for common sense.

    • CAM March 30, 2020 (4:44 pm)

      In terms of bacteria/virus/germs in general, you’re going to find a far higher count of them on a gas pump than you would on anything at the grocery store. 

      • Jethro Marx March 30, 2020 (4:55 pm)

        I’ll take that bet. The microorganisms transferred to a gas pump handle have found a far less hospitable spot for a variety of reasons and thus are less likely to survive. 

      • Mark schletty March 30, 2020 (6:05 pm)

        Cam— ever hear of an alcohol wipe down of the pump handle and push buttons.  Or using surgical gloves. Thats what we do. Try that on everything touched in a grocery store.

        • CAM March 30, 2020 (8:32 pm)

          Are you claiming to have gloves? Or antibacterial wipes to spare? I, and to my knowledge most others, do not. I use my personal supply of bleach wipes at home and at work because my work can’t get them right now either. If I had gloves I’d be giving them to someone that really needed them. I’m not arguing don’t use your car. I was trying to introduce a little logic into the concept that the grocery store was somehow on the same level of cleanliness as a gas pump. Alternatively, do less things that require you to bleach wipe the world before you interact with it and we’ll all be better off. 

          • Mark Schletty March 31, 2020 (8:36 am)

            Cam— just to let you know, surgical gloves are not protective gear in short supply for healthcare workers, or anyone else. You can buy them easily on Amazon and other sites. And we make our own alcohol disinfectant at home. Chill out.

          • CAM March 31, 2020 (9:32 am)

            Don’t displace your emotions on to me. I don’t need to chill out. Also, please leave the gloves for medical professionals: https://time.com/5810448/malaysia-rubber-glove-shortage-covid-19/

        • CAM March 30, 2020 (8:42 pm)

          To further punctuate that point, the Seattle Times is reporting that all state Dept of Licensing offices are closing their lobbies, at least in part, due to a shortage of materials to keep them clean throughout the day. We need to conserve on all these critical supplies. 

    • Alki March 30, 2020 (6:27 pm)

      Hopefully you understand the difference between the two? When is the necessity 1 is not a necessity. Where you at least recognize that?

  • Julia March 30, 2020 (4:20 pm)

    I agree with Joyride that an isolated drive to see the empty beach at Alki does no harm. We do have to consider mental and emotional health as well. 

  • flimflam March 30, 2020 (4:30 pm)

    pretty sure this was directed mostly at businesses not in compliance and large gatherings – it doesn’t mean, “hey! i saw a person! they were OUTSIDE!!!!”

  • T March 30, 2020 (4:40 pm)

    It’s exhausting listening to these “journalists” rephrase the same questions over and over. NO, Inslee cannot predict the future, YES, you’re allowed to go on walks outside. But you know, keep asking every press conference anyway. Sheesh.

    • Barry March 30, 2020 (4:57 pm)

      If you read the comments here you’d know why they ask so many different ways. Seems some people interpret a “Stay at home” order to mean “The outside is lava.”

    • Sue L. March 30, 2020 (8:40 pm)

      T: Thank God we have journalists–like Tracy Record–to keep asking questions. 

      • WSB March 30, 2020 (9:04 pm)

        Thanks for the kind words. I don’t get to ask Q’s during the gov’s briefings because I can’t get WebEx (their preferred videoconferencing software) to work on my old overloaded MacBook – but in defense of my colleagues who ask the seemingly repetitive questions, we continue to hear from people confused about what’s OK and what’s not, so I don’t blame them for asking – TR

  • zephyr March 30, 2020 (4:55 pm)

    Slightly off topic, but why are there two people signing  to each
    other?  Maybe that’ s part of the technique?  It looks like a
    conversation.     ???  Thanks. 

    • Scooterista March 31, 2020 (9:54 am)

      Tracy – given the tremendous job you and Patrick do on behalf of our community, I’m wondering if there’s a way for us your readers to help you upgrade your work technology. Someone might have tech they could donate or perhaps we could crowdfund?
      I don’t have much free time or energy, but maybe others would like to make this so.
      I am one of the regular cars on the road because I work for a large local grocery store. For the past five weeks, I‘ve worked almost every day of the week for 8-12 hours; I drive almost every day. I have to take extra precautions to limit my already considerable risk and exposure, so the bus is out. I will have to get gas at some point, although I filled up right before we went into stay home mode. Outwardly, I look like all the other people on the road. There has been an awful lot of judgement based on appearances and assumptions lately, both here on WSB and at large. I wish we could try for more kindness and compassion.

  • JB March 30, 2020 (5:14 pm)

    How about limiting the number of people in the grocery store at a time.  These grocery workers are on the front line also, and need to be protected. The CEO’s of these stores need to get out of there office and come to the front line.  Maybe then, they will see what the real problem is.    Same people are going to the grocery store DAILY, for a couple of items, and then they can’t keep the 6ft. distance from anyone, let alone the check stands, that have makers of the floor.  Come on people, it’s not all about you!, think of others for a change!

  • Nw mama March 30, 2020 (5:56 pm)

    Why in the world would we focus on travel on the road?  For all the reasons mentioned above- and first responders…. and family members looking out for their loved ones that live elsewhere… and the Instacart gig workers delivering your groceries. 

  • waikikigirl March 30, 2020 (5:57 pm)

    OH and another thing…yesterday we were out doing our once a week grocery shopping which has turned into every other week (now) I was walking behind husband pushing the cart a man and his son  who could not wait for us to get out of the aisle which we were almost out of it maybe 3 more steps and as he passing by me he turns his head towards me and coughs (that smokers phlegm kind) and  laughed, I said OMG REALLY!?What is wrong with people?!  :>(

  • zephyr March 30, 2020 (6:00 pm)

    After listening to a number of these briefings, I find that the key reveals and bits of information seem to come from the various questions asked by the reporters.  The Governor and his staff do a great job of answering with as much data and knowledge that they currently have.  The questions seem to give them more room to expand on a topic.  Point being:  it’s usually worth listening to the whole thing.  Thanks so much for posting these WSB.   
    Ha! I just saw someone else’s comment about this. They went in another whole direction. Yes, I agree that SOME of the questions seem repetitive. So you have to winnow out the wheat from the chaff sometimes. ;)

  • Dunno March 30, 2020 (6:24 pm)

    We need Jim LaCosta to get in here with some tough questions for him.   PS:   Make sure you use Clorox wipes at the gas pump along with gloves. Stay safe!

  • TJ March 30, 2020 (7:37 pm)

    Worried about people driving around. Gas pump handles being dirty. Trying to find ways to Tattle-tail on people. People need to relax and if they aren’t comfortable going out then stay in. There will be a point in time not too far away where we will have to get back to normal and individuals will need to own their risk. 

    • WR March 30, 2020 (10:13 pm)

      Absolutely agreed TJ.  For everyone here who is projecting their immense fear upon everyone else, understand that you are only creating pronounced division.  This unnecessary division does nothing but make things worse for us all.Back off people taking a governor suggested drive. Back off someone that happens to be in the grocery store with you.Stop attacking anyone not doing exactly what you are.  Shunned and shamed for getting gas, driving  to the pharmacy, or using an aisle at the grocery store?  Blasted for following the rules?  For having a package of alcohol wipes?Please knock it off! 

  • dcn March 30, 2020 (8:08 pm)

    I took a 20 minute drive around West Seattle and Burien yesterday, just to make sure my car’s battery was charged. I hadn’t used the car in 10 days. The battery is on the older side and sometimes my car is sluggish to start in cold weather. So, I’m just trying to make sure I am mobile when I need to be. I’d rather not take the car into the shop for a battery replacement at this time, nor am I sure that it’s needed.

    • Greg March 30, 2020 (9:46 pm)

      I am the same way.  I treat my car and p/up like back up generators.  It is vital that everyone looks around right now and inventories their personal resources.  There will come a need for us to share.

  • Canton March 30, 2020 (10:37 pm)

    Everyone has a bit of hypochondriac in them, some more than others. In these times, the self- preservation stage kicks in. We can’t expect everyone, immediately, to adhere to our personal beliefs. Keep yourselves safe and worry less about others trying to survive if they feel able. My employer gave us a bag with 15-20 wipes in it. It wasn’t for our safety, it was for us to disinfect, before returning the paperwork. Perspective, and perseverance, we will get through together. This is a new crisis, allow people to adapt to changing times.

    • Greg March 30, 2020 (11:56 pm)

      You need to hurry.

      • Canton March 31, 2020 (7:26 am)

        What aspect should I hurry, to help you sir?

  • Fredrik March 31, 2020 (10:25 am)

    ok so WSB what is the word on rent freeze? i would prefer to stay home but can def not afford to until thats passed.

    • WSB March 31, 2020 (10:30 am)

      As noted last night, city councilmembers urged the state and federal governments to mandate one – but nothing has been finalized so far, so unless your landlord grants you a delay, rent’s due.

  • Xman March 31, 2020 (11:56 am)

    I saw a pickup basketball game with at least fifteen young men on a covered court at an elementary school yesterday. 

Sorry, comment time is over.