Wednesday, 25 March,2020 @ 1:00PM
On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Skamania County Deputy Health Director, Steven Krager, MD, issued an closure of recreational hiking in Skamania County. This was in direct response to the influx of non-residents to our county, in a complete disregard for social distancing and now a current Stay Home – Stay Healthy proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee.
The warm weather brought unusually large amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic to all recreational sites within the Columbia River Gorge Scenic area and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. In a normal setting, Skamania County welcome’s visitors to enjoy our natural beauty and many recreational opportunities, however this is not a normal time with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our residents, county services, and local businesses are doing our best to maintain some sense of normalcy and community. I have attached the order, which is currently in effect until further notice.
In response to Governor Inslee’s recent proclamation, 20-25, Stay Home – Stay Healthy, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office will be adhering to an educational approach. It is a gross misdemeanor to violate the order, however we will attempt to educate violators of the order first, using appropriate social distancing to gain voluntary compliance. We will not be closing businesses, forcing people out of homes or businesses, or enforcing social distancing guidelines, however as stated, it can be construed as crime and can be handled as such if an extreme occurrence does happen.
Our response to priority calls for service has not changed, although with lower priority incidents, phone contact has been encouraged by our staff.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Skamania County has established an Incident Command System to ensure a continuity of services, re-supply of critical equipment to our first responders, and to maintain an open line of communication and up to date information to our community members.