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COVID-19 case found in Electric City

Counties struggle with state mandates

A person in Electric City has tested positive for COVID-19, the Grant Health District said Tuesday night putting a bit more local emphasis on the national crisis that local governments struggle to address.

That person joins at least one other in the local community, in Okanogan County, with the illness.

Grant County reports a total of 161 cases so far, including three deaths and the three new cases reported Tuesday, the others in Moses Lake and Quincy.

Okanogan County Public Health has recorded 26 confirmed cases, including one death. Twelve of those cases are on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Douglas County has confirmed 75 cases, including one death. Lincoln County had reported no cases as of midnight Monday, the state Dept. of Health website says.

Those numbers are included in the state totals of 13,842 cases and 786 deaths.

And they follow a week when county commissioners in Grant and Okanogan counties join others in eastern Washington who are pressuring Gov. Jay Inslee to loosen restrictions and open up the state more.

Grant County commissioners signed a letter last Thursday to “implore” Inslee to amend his Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation to allow residential construction.

Okanogan County commissioners on Monday held a discussion that mirrors a divide forming across the nation along political lines, with some, like Democrat Inslee calling for a data-driven course while others line up behind Republicans calling for opening up the economy, as advocated yesterday by Commissioner Jim De Tro chairing an online commissioners’ meeting as protesters waved signs outside.

“I have chronic lung disease, just had worst case of pneumonia in all my life,” he said. “I should probably be tested, but I’m here ’cause I won’t run scared anymore.”

DeTro says people will do the right thing and that it should be their choice.

Commissioner Chris Branch argues opening up responsibly means more testing is needed in the county, and he notes a recent increase in cases.

Commissioner Andy Hover acknowledges the difficulty commissioners face.

“There are people having a hard time with businesses. I’m not discounting that,” he said. “I think sometimes this gets lost: it’s your choice, but when your choice affects other people, how will it affect everything overall? These are the things we must consider.”


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