In a letter addressed to Governor Jay Inslee and staff, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett expressed his concerns for the economic health of our county balanced against the low number of COVID-19 patients the area has experienced. Burnett recommends moving to Phase 2 of the plan immediately.
Here is his statement:
Governor Inslee and Staff:
I am respectfully requesting that you support the Chelan County Commissioner’s request for Chelan County to immediately move to Phase 2 of the Washington’s Phased Approach for Reopening Business and Modifying Physical Distancing Measures.
I whole-heartedly believe that both Chelan and Douglas Counties, along with the Cities and private businesses have worked diligently and self sacrificially to do their part from the very beginning of the declared COVID-19 emergency status.
I believe it is critical for all of our citizens that we expedite the four-phase plan for Chelan County in order to save personal businesses and livelihoods in North Central Washington. As Confluence Health and others health districts around our region have made massive adjustments to our regional health facilities in order to prepare for what was predicted to be a much greater impact and spread of an infectious disease, those numbers just haven’t been produced in Chelan County or our region. As I write this letter, there are only 2 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized within Confluence Hospital in Wenatchee, which is a regional facility, providing services for Chelan, Douglas, Grant and at times Okanogan and Kittitas Counties.
I believe it is imperative to our local economy and the livelihoods of our citizens that we expedite reopening our economy to include the social, financial and health impacts to our region.
I know that you will find widespread support for this request within our region, to include elected officials from the counties, cities, state representatives, private business owners (both large and small), public utility districts, medical professionals, faith based organizations and many more. I believe we the people who live, work and recreate here in North Central Washington know what is best for our region. I am confident in the knowledge and competence of our citizens and business owners to implement an accelerated phase program to jumpstart our economy while doing it in a way that is safe for everyone involved, by safeguarding everyone’s wellbeing while utilizing appropriate social distancing standards in the process.
Again, I urge you to grant this request on the date of this request to re-open our community and economy for the sake of the citizens of Chelan County and North Central Washington. I truly believe it is the right thing to do and failing to do so will prove to be much more detrimental to our local area than the health implications of COVID-19 itself.
Sheriff Brian Burnett