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County cities and agencies issue joint communication


March 25, 2020

A joint communication to the citizens of Klickitat County was released this afternoon (March 25) from the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners; the Cities of Goldendale, Bingen, and White Salmon; the Klickitat County Public Health Department; and the Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Center. Their collective message follows:

Klickitat County continues to work extremely diligently in numerous ways to recognize and address the impacts of COVID-19, the current status and how, in the future, will it affect our community. Our top priority is the safety of all citizens in Klickitat County. Community leaders are striving to identify plans to address this national emergency. A force of dedicated people that includes skilled volunteers is working hard to respond and recover from the effects of this pandemic as it has now impacted our area.

Each organization [the cities and agencies listed above] is currently collaborating with each other to approach Covid-19 head on. Klickitat County is connected to Washington State Emergency Management and is working to get needed information, supplies, and various resources to our health care facilities, clinics, and emergency responders. There is a national shortage which Klickitat County is navigating along with all regions of Washington State.

Prevention efforts are the most effective of all actions any citizen can take. By complying with Gov. Inslee’s Proclamations at every single level, our citizens can quickly become the largest part of a solution to stabilize and resolve this emergency. Our communities must adhere to guidelines of prevention by the CDC and Washington Department of Health, and Klickitat County Public Health Department in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A message from:

Klickitat County Chair Jim Sizemore; City of White Salmon Mayor Marla Keethler; City of Goldendale Mayor Mike Cannon; City of Bingen Mayor Betty Barnes; Klickitat County Emergency Management Director /Emergency Operations Center Incident Commander Jeff King.

Stay Home - Stay Healthy

With six confirmed COVID-19 cases inside Klickitat County, we strongly encourage all citizens to stay home as directed by Gov. Inslee. Physical distancing continues to be strongly recommended and highly encouraged. Every member of the community is responsible for limiting contacts and stopping person-to-person transmission of the virus. Local hospitals could potentially be put under hardship with excessive influx of travelers. Food supplies and medication stockpiles could also take a major hit if an increased transmission were to occur. We ask that all citizens work through physical distancing guidelines and find ways to support them whenever possible. We are asking for everyone to increase efforts by eliminating possibilities for any transmission of COVID-19.

Visitors coming to our Gorge Communities – A Call to Action

We all love Klickitat County, but this is not the time for you to visit. An influx of visitors creates an undue burden on our efforts to maintain physical distancing and strains our supply channels, public safety resources, and health care system. We look forward to hosting you again when things are back to normal.

Stay Home – Stay Healthy

Several parks and recreational locations are now closed to the public. These decisions have not been made lightly. However, public safety is everyone’s number one priority. We ask all citizens to comply with posted closure orders. Further, first responders and health care workers are needed for the current public health emergency, not for search and rescue operations and recreational injuries that could compromise our emergency responders. If you are going to exercise outdoors, please stay in your neighborhood and maintain six feet or more of physical distancing.


Our community has come together to provide numerous volunteers and public employees to work in the Emergency Operation Center. Our community church organizations are connecting to find ways to continue their mission and care for our most vulnerable population members. Our schools are creatively working with parents to help feed children. Families are creatively sharing childcare needs while balancing work. Everyone is adjusting. Neighbors have helped each other. We would like to convey that it’s the citizens, families and organizations that make our community great and help protect it the best.

We have a strong and caring community, filled with generous and resilient members coming together during the past few weeks. Stay Home-Stay Healthy.


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