Submitted by Lewis County Public Health & Social Services

Lewis County Public Health & Social Services (LCPHSS) local law enforcement, the Lewis County Board of County Commissioners, and Washington State Labor & Industries (L&I) are in discussions to clarify local and state public health actions that have been taken in response to COVID-19.

LCPHSS Director J.P. Anderson announced today that in light of recent events, Lewis County officials are working together and with state agencies to clarify enforcement roles and responsibilities. Chief among them involve business rules enacted to protect public health and reduce viral spread.

“Up to this point, our local health department has only enforced locally generated orders. The state’s Safe Start orders clearly say that L&I has enforcement authority and responsibility for state-level orders,” Anderson said. “We have our department needs to focus on supporting disease investigations, supporting our schools, and now planning to distribute the vaccine which is anticipated to arrive shortly.”

Anderson said LCPHSS understands the state orders and underscores the importance of addressing rising COVID-19 numbers. He said it is also clear that emotions are running high and reasonable people can hold opposing views on many of these issues.

People can stay informed by following the Lewis County COVID-19 web page at https://phsscovid19.lewiscountywa.gov, @LCPHSS on Twitter, or www.facebook.com/lcphss.

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