Earlier this week, Washington State reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. This is the first time we’ve reached that number since the pandemic started. Our total number of cases has passed 37,000, and it has never been more important to wear a mask, maintain social distancing practices, and do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As a result of the increase in new COVID cases, Governor Jay Inslee announced that the Safe Start proclamation for phased reopening will be extended until August 6th. This latest proclamation clarifies a number of points between the Safe Start program, and the recent facial covering mandate that is in effect state wide, including:
- The Yakima County business prohibiton is extended statewide: No business may operate, allow a customer to enter a business, or conduct in-person business with a customer in any public setting unless the customer is wearing a face covering;
- Individuals are prohibited from entering a place of business without wearing a face covering;
- Employers must notify the employer’s local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if the employer suspects COVID-19 is spreading in the employer’s workplace, or if the employer is aware of two or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period.
The Governor’s announcement also gave updates for restauraunts and taverns in counties that have moved into phases 2 and 3. This includes the prohibition of bar-style seating and live music, as well as permitting self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, and other similar communal food sources and drink stations subject to business adherence to safety standards.
This is a difficult time for all of us in Washington State, the country, and around the world. Thank you for all your continued sacrifice and dilligence in slowing the spread of COVID-19. I will continue working with my colleagues and local officials in the 40th LD to create the best path forward that keeps us healthy and safe.
Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday.
“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff
Every state has a state bird, flag, or a tree – but Washington has a state fossil! What is the Washington state fossil?
Drive-In Testing Site in Bellingham!
There is a new, low-barrier COVID-19 testing facility now open in Bellingham! The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) and Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) opened a drive-through testing facility today in the east side of the Civic Field Stadium parking lot.
This facility is in a pilot phase, and testing will is available Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for now. Anyone is able to be tested at the new drive-through site with no appointment necessary. To be tested, enter the Civic Athletic Complex on Puget Street via Fraser St, and you will be directed where to drive. At no point will you need to exit your vehicle.
If you plan to go and get tested, be sure to bring personal identification, like a drivers license, and your insurance card. Those without insurance will still be tested and the cost will be covered by a Health Resources and Services Administration program, and those without ID can also be tested, as personal information is only used to contact individiauls about their test results.
Anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. I’m glad this resource is available for Bellingham, and for the 40th LD, as testing and contact tracing is an extremely effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. After these two days of testing, WCHD and WUC will asses the process and create a plan for an ongoing, low-barrier drive-through testing site.
For more information on testing in Whatcom County, click here.
Skagit County Public Safety Roundtable
This past Tuesday it was my pleasure to host a Skagit County Public Safety Roundtable. State Representatives and Senators, Mayors, Police Chiefs, Community Liason’s, and so many others sat down to discuss how we can work towards effctive public safety reform in the 40th LD.
It is always my intention to create a safe and trusted place for all to sit down and share their thoughts and experiences. We had a great discussion through all levels of government and across multiple jurisdictions on public safety topics ranging from hate crime policies to redirected funding to specialized providers and support services, from imagining the evolution of law enforcement to building multicultural relationships addressing how our law enforcement officers interact and serve our underrepresented communities.
This is a conversation that has to be inclusive, and I am so grateful to everyone who joined our roundtable this week. I will always spread my wingspan wide and bring everyone to the table, making sure that all feel comfortable to express their views and opinions.
This is a particularly important conversation to have, and it can be difficult at times. One thing is clear – we must address the concerns of our underrepresented communities and our communities of color. This will take collaboration from all levels of government and all walks of life. I’m proud of the discussion we had this week, and I’m excited to host additional roundtables soon.
Check back on DebraLekanoff.com for information about upcoming events.
Standing With Sierra Pacific Workers and Families
The Sierra Pacific mill here in the 40th LD was listed as an essential industry by both Washington State and the Department of Homeland Security at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mill is a critical part of the supply chain for a number of things, including paper, and they very quickly added safety protocols that grew and evolved to keep everyone working safely to this day.
Sierra Pacific Industries emplyos over 200 crewmembers at its facility right here in the 40th LD, and it’s estimated that the mill supports at least another 600 jobs in the region. The mill produces enough lumber each year to build almost 2,000 homes, and I am proud to support their workers and families.
Rep. Lekanoff and Rep. Mike Chapman visited the Sierra Pacific Mill in 2019
As we move into the future and continue reopening our economies and communities, we can look to places like the Sierra Pacific mill as examples. Instituting safety protocols to protect employees and their families is a necessary first step, and allowing those protocols to grow and evolve to fit the specific needs of industries and businesses must happen on an ongoing basis.
Learn more about Sierra Pacific Industries here.
Helping the House Democratic Campaign Committee
The 40th LD is proud to welcome House Democratic Campaign Committee Chair Joe Fitzgibbon and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins for a conversation tonight on what we can do to support candidates across the state.
Rep. Lekanoff with Speaker Laurie Jinkins (pre-COVID-19)
Thank you to everyone who has registered to attend my Re-Elect Debra Lekanoff Fundraiser tonight! I’m truly so excited to (virtually) see you all, and I can’t wait to spend some time with everyone.
Rep. Lekanoff with Martha Kongsgaard, a co-sponsor of tonight’s event (pre-COVID-19)
As an incumbent running unopposed, I’m proud to help lead the way in raising funds for the HDCC during this election cycle. The HDCC has spread their winspan wide to embrace all of us candidates, and they are doing an incredible job supporting candidates facing tough elections in swing districts.
Thank you to Taylor Shellfish for being a co-sponsor, and I can’t wait to see you all!
Rep. Lekanoff with Bill Dewey and Bill Taylor from Taylor Shellfish (pre-COVID-19)
Click on the image below to see my video from earlier today on the event and fundraising for our critical 2020 election campaigns in Washington.
As a way to virtually stay connected with community, we’re hosting Tele-Tuesdays to discuss issues that are at the top of all of our minds.
On July 14 at 3 p.m., I’ll be sitting down to discuss education with local experts, leaders, and all of you! I hope you’ll join me on Facebook Live for Tele-Tuesday next week.
So bring your questions and we’ll “see” you on Facebook Live!
Association of Washington Cities Award!
It is an honor to recieve the Association of Washington Cities City Champion Award!
Our city leadership here in the 40th LD is unparallelled. I know that all of us in the 40th LD are so grateful for our incredible leadership and mayors – say Mt. Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau, Friday Harbor Mayor Farhad Ghatan, Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton, and Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere. Thank you for all that you have done to improve our cities and communities!
This week, AWC honored me with the City Champion Award. I am joining amazing leaders from around our state that are doing the hard work to keep our cities and communities safe. And we are truly just getting started.
Check out the rest of AWC’s City Champion Award recipients here.
Endorsing Mike Pellicciotti for State Treasurer
Representative Mike Pellicciotti from the 30th LD is currently running as our Democratic candidate for State Treasurer, and I am proud to endorse his campaign! Mike has long worked in the peoples’ house on increasing visibility, removing ‘dark money’ from our elections, and banning foreign corporate money in Washington State’s campaigns.
Rep. Lekanoff with Reps Nicole Macri and Joe Nyguen with Rep. Mike Pellicciotti (pre-COVID-19)
He will be a tremendous treasurer for our state and I look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish. Mike also works as an Assistant Attorney General, and in his capaicty there he has fought against financial fraud and government waste, ensuring that your tax dollars go where they are supposed to – places that improve our communities and our state.
Learn more about Mike’s campaign here.
Thank you so much to the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters for endorsing my campaign! Your continued work on behalf of Union carpenters is greatly appreciated not just by your member, but by all of us.
The Pacific Northwast Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 28,000 carpenters who do work in all facets of construction. Their continued support has led to improved safety and wages, and has provided additional opportunities for training. Thank you for all your hard work!
Supporting our laborers is something I take seriously, and I am so grateful to have recieved their support in return. Thank you again for endorsing my campaign!
Thank you to Wendy McDermott, Rodd Pemble, and Marco Morales for endorsing my campaign! Individual endorsements are an incredibly important part of my campaign. You can put your name next to mine and support my re-election by heading over to my website and filling out this form.
These endorsements mean so much to me – they show that this is a campaign focused on people, and I would be honored to have your name added along with mine.
I also want to thank Whatcom County Councilmember Carol Frazey, San Juan County Councilmember Rick Hughes, and Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood for endorsing my campaign! I’m so grateful for your support and proud that we have people like you working right here in the 40th LD.
The Washington state fossil is the Columbian Mammoth! A group of fourth-graders from Windsor Elementary School worked with the state legislature to make it happen!