On Monday, May 4th, Governor Inslee signed a new COVID-19 order – the Safe Start plan, while also extending the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order until May 31st.
The Safe Start plan is a four-part phased re-opening of businesses and the Washington economy. Under this plan, businesses and activities would re-open in phases with social distancing measures and health procedures in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks in duration and health data will determine the progress from one phase to another. Below is a summarized graphic representing the four phases.
In regards to RPEC, it’s chapters and its members – local chapter meetings would not happen until the county in which the chapter operates reaches Phase 3. But note that for high-risk populations (namely those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions) the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order remains in place until Phase 4. And even then, social distancing guidelines are still encouraged.
Currently, under this phased re-opening plan, 10 counties meet the established criteria to move on to Phase 2, if they choose to do so: Columbia; Garfield; Jefferson; Lincoln; Pend Oreille; Skamania; Wahkiakum; Kittitas; Ferry; and Grays Harbor.
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Based on the Governor’s extended “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, the RPEC Council Office will remain closed through May 31st and all chapter meetings for May are canceled.
During this time, RPEC staff will have the ability to conduct key work functions remotely from home. We will not be able to receive phone calls from our standard office phone numbers, but we will be regularly checking voicemails. If you have an urgent and time sensitive request, please email us at email@example.com. While working remotely, we will be able to respond to email, voicemails, and requests for electronic copies of materials.
The safety and health of RPEC members is our foremost concern. We have resources that can assist chapters in communicating with their members remotely, including group emails, automated robo-calls, and conference call systems. Chapter leaders may contact the Council Office if they need assistance utilizing these resources.
Those over 65 years of age, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, and those who have weakened immune system are strongly encouraged to avoid public gatherings of any size to minimize their risk of exposure.
We encourage all members to abide by this order and do what they can to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy.