Gov. Jay Inslee asks Washington residents to report those violating stay-at-home order

Inslee announces Monday a three-tier process for reporting violators

In his Monday afternoon media availability to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee revealed a three-tier process for reporting violators of the stay-at-home order. 

Non-essential businesses, such as the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, are temporarily closed by Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-order order. Photo by Mike Schultz
Non-essential businesses, such as the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, are temporarily closed by Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-order order. Photo by Mike Schultz

Specifically, Inslee addressed any activity deemed as non-essential, and therefore instructed to temporarily close during his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy’’ order.

“This is a huge hardship on these businesses,” Inslee said. “I understand that uncertainty.”

Inslee said he was asking for assistance from Washington residents.

“We are announcing today about how these measures will be enforced and how Washington residents can help,” Gov. Inslee said.

Inslee provided three levels for Washingtonians to report those violating the stay-at-home order.

The first level, or Tier one, calls for the violators of the order to be notified that they need to comply. Tier two would involve the issuance of citations and suspensions of licenses, including business licenses. Tier three would have law enforcement officials pass the complaints along to the state attorney general.

“Taking people to court is the last resort,” Inslee said.

Washington residents can report a violation of the stay-at-home order by filing a complaint at coronavirus.wa.gov.

“We’d like you to use your best judgment and notify local law enforcement,” Inlsee said.

Inslee asked Washingtonians not to call 9-1-1.

“These are local decisions,” Inlsee said. “We’re not going to tell local enforcement how to do their jobs.”

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he doesn’t want to take anyone to court over this, but he will if it’s necessary.

“Our goal is 100 percent voluntary compliance,” Ferguson said.

Inslee said Monday that he doesn’t have a time frame yet on when the stay-at-home order will be lifted.

“I cannot do that,” Inslee said. “No one can do that today. The data continues to come in and change over the days.”

Restaurants have been deemed as essential in Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order but only for drive-thru or take-out orders. Photo by Mike Schultz
Restaurants have been deemed as essential in Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order but only for drive-thru or take-out orders. Photo by Mike Schultz

Guidance on real estate transactions

On Saturday, Inslee sent a letter that provides further guidance on real estate transactions today. The letter reads, in part:

“While real estate activities along with mortgage lending activities have been approved as

essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the

following restrictions and limitations:

  • In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;
  • No real estate open houses shall be permitted;
  • Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and
  • Except for the limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.

Guidance on funerals

In partnership with the governor’s office, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) sent additional guidance to funeral homes and cemeteries Saturday.

The letter from DOL reads, in part:

“As your licensing agency for mortuary services, we provide the following guidance. Licensed funeral homes and cemeteries may conduct funeral services in a funeral home or graveside under the following conditions:

  • Funerals are only attended by immediate family members of the deceased.
  • The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as staying six feet apart.

“We have also received questions about embalming. The governor’s proclamation does not prohibit embalming.”

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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