Island County Updates for 06/05/20

by Island County 5th June 2020



This page is constantly being updated:  Please check back for the latest

A message from Commissioner St. Clair:  (06/05/20)

Dear Community members,

So much has happened in Island County in the last few months, I wanted to take a moment to reach out.  I have held multiple virtual Town Halls during this crisis but given the complexity of technology, wanted to share updates for those who could not join.  Please feel free to email me or give me a call, if you want further information on any of these updates.  I am going to begin with non-COVID-19 related updates. 

Just a quick note that Island County has opened county buildings for essential services.  It is recommended to use online and telephonic support or call for an appointment if needed.  Masks are strongly recommended and required by some offices.  You can get more information at:

I am excited that our two major building projects are progressing well.  The Stabilization Center in Oak Harbor will be an important regional resource for addressing behavioral health needs in our communities.  The Camano Administration Building is looking great.  The exterior is going up, giving us the glimpses of our beautiful new building.  Staff and the public are looking forward to this new access to local government.  We look forward to moving in this fall.

Planning and Community Development (PCD)
If you received a recent letter from FEMA, you will (or have) also received a letter from Island County.   We have been granted an extension to complete required work for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to July 28, 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  When we began this work, there were 130+ homes needing actions to stay in compliance with the program; all have been addressed except 8.  We fully anticipate completing necessary actions required by the County by July 28.

PCD has also taken charge of the Economic Recovery Plan as they are responsible for the Economic Development Element under the Island County Comprehensive Plan.  Each of the three districts have public/private collaborative teams to help support the small business community and assure we can rebuild and thrive.  Grant opportunities for businesses will soon be announced, so stay tuned.

Our planning, building and permit work is also returning to normal.  Our new PCD Director has instituted a quality management program to institute metrics and transparency in our efforts to ensure strong customer service to our public and to assure compliance by residents with the policies of Island County.

Human Services
Our Human Services Department has been busy with assisting our residents who are being impacted by the pandemic with assistance in navigating state bureaucracy for benefits, mental health and substance abuse help, housing assistance, and other needs.  Island County has chosen to include a “people” element to our recovery planning and our Human Services team will lead that effort in collaboration with Opportunity Council and the Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano.  Much of our focus will be on preventing homelessness for those who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis by providing basic needs, rental and mortgage assistance to those in need.

Unfortunately, our outreach programs including school-based mental health, courts, police and other response programs are severely impacted by the decreased sales tax revenue that supported these programs.  Most of those positions were redirected to Coronavirus response and it is uncertain when we will have the sales tax revenue to restore those efforts.  Island County is committed to the efficacy and importance of those programs in planning for the future.

Public Works
As Public Works also oversees the Island County Department of Emergency Management, it has been a busy spring.  Nevertheless, this department has continued maintenance and operations including roads, infrastructure and parks.  Island County is working to finalize theTransportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) including plans to address storm water drainage and culvert replacements.  Public Works has also coordinated our IRTPO (Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization) plan that interfaces with WSDOT, Island County Transit and other municipalities (including Stanwood as an ad hoc member).

Finally, Public Works is working on a plan to safely reopen all of our Island County parks including playgrounds and sports facilities.  island County Parks staff is working endlessly on mitigation and safety through this pandemic.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Public Health: Coronavirus
The EOC is beginning to step down on the response efforts as we pivot to recovery.  There will be continual monitoring and response to any COVID-19 cases with testing, contact tracing, and case management.  The logistics team will continue to support partnerships with hospitals, schools, the Navy, and other key stakeholders with information, PPE, testing, and other needs.  The most recent County-wide testing effort provided good news and there have been no reported positive cases as of our last briefing.  Testing continued last week at congregate care facilities and other high-risk residential locations.  Island County will remain prepared in case of a resurgence of new cases.

Board of Health and Board of Island County Commissioners: Safe Start Variance Applications
Island County received approval to move to reopening (excluding camping) in Phase 2 on May 23rd.  The approval was granted by the WA Department of Health, Secretary of Health John Weisman.  The variance approval required our business community to follow all public health guidelines including sanitizing, hand washing, social distancing and masks where social distancing is not possible.  There is a statewide mask mandate for all employees in Washington State that goes into effect June 8 and I am seeking clarification on this mandate where social distancing is possibleIsland County is actively working on the Phase 3 Variance request application which requires an update on our data, hospital capacity, testing, and contact tracing.  It requires a strong response plan should there be a resurgence in positive cases.  That application will be considered by Island County Board of Health and the Board of County Commissioners on June 16.  Please do your part to protect our reopening by following the guidelines of CDC and the State Department of Health.

I have been proud of how our communities have worked to come together during this crisis.  We have shown our strength and our resilience.  Your cooperation helped us flatten our epidemiological curve and reopen our county.  Please continue to support each other as we work through this crisis, stay positive and connected. 

Thank you.


Island County COVID-19


Island County Public Health wants to make sure that the citizens of Island County have access to reliable guidance surrounding COVID-19. We will be updating our guidance to the community weekly and hope that you use this to help inform and empower yourself and our community.


***Please note, our call center will no longer be operating on the weekend. The number and weekday hours can be found at the end of this guidance document.


Safe Start Washington – Phased Reopening County-by-County

On May 29, Governor Inslee announced the Safe Start Washington - Phased Reopening County-by-County plan. This is a modified version of the phased reopening plan announced in early May.

  • The Safe Start plan includes new metrics that each county has to meet in order to move to the next phase and provides more flexibility to move between phases.
  • Island County remains in Phase 2, excluding camping, and must remain in our current phase for a minimum of three weeks. Island County will be eligible to apply to move to Phase 3 on June 13.
  • Individual businesses need to implement the state guidelines for a safe start. All previous guidance documents for businesses and organizations for Phase 2 remain in effect. Guidance is available here.
  • While various outdoor recreation activities have reopened in Phase 2, camping remains prohibited within Island County, at this time. Opening camping will be revisited during the Phase 3 application process.

New Masking Requirement

The Safe Start plan includes a new face covering requirement. This requirement is in addition to the Phase 2 key infection prevention measures that are already in place.


  • On June 8, all businesses will be required to have employees wear face coverings, unless they work alone. Businesses are also required to post signage encouraging customers/clients to wear face coverings in public spaces.
  • Please continue to practice key infection prevention measures including social distancing, wearing a face covering when in public spaces, and practicing frequent hand washing.
  • Please continue to limit non-essential travel to areas close to your home and limit gatherings to no more than five people, outside of your household members, per week.


Practice Patience and Compassion

Practice patience and compassion with yourself and others as we move through these uncertain times. In addition to practicing safe social distancing and hygiene measures, respectful communication, and consideration are essential parts of supporting our fellow community members and local businesses.


  • Be mindful of your social media consumption. Share what you want to read and work to spread reliable information. Limiting the amount of time spent on social media, following things that bring joy, and spreading facts not fear could minimize additional feelings of worry, anxiety, and exhaustion. You may also want to consider taking a break from social media altogether.
  • Remember that we all have different levels of concern for our health and the health of our loved-ones. Part of being compassionate means following social distancing and face covering guidance in public as a gesture of kindness to others. Remember, you are protecting others when you wear a face covering. Also remember, though, that there may be legitimate reasons why someone is not able to wear a face covering. Children under the age of two should not wear face coverings, and there may be reasons that some older children should not wear them as well.
  • Finding intentional ways to be kind to others can improve your mood and help manage stress. Go out of your way to be kind to someone else.


Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Island County, start by visiting our website or our Facebook page.


Public can contact the Island County call center at 360.678.2301.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm





Island County, May 23, 2020:


On May 22, Island County Public Health submitted a variance application to advance from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the Governor's Safe Start reopening plan. On May 23, the Secretary of Health approved the Island County Phase 2 variance request, subject to conditions.


With this approval, business services and activities listed in Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan are now permitted, provided appropriate guidelines and safety measures are implemented.


In order to remain in compliance with Phase 2, Island County must adhere to the aforementioned conditions, including but not limited to:



  • Camping remains prohibited within Island County at this time.


  • Gatherings with more than 5 people outside your household per week are prohibited.


The complete approval letter with conditions is available for review on the Island County Public Health webpage.


For additional information:


Island County Public Health –


Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)


WA State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) –


Island County COVID-19

Island County Public Health, WhidbeyHealth, and a variety of other community partners are working together to test a large number of Island County residents for COVID-19. Community-wide testing started Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Due to an overwhelming response to the testing survey, Island County will open COVID-19 testing on Monday, May 18 to all Island County residents 18 years of age or older, regardless of survey completion or pre-registration status. There will be no out-of-pocket cost for this viral PCR test, but insurance information will be collected if available. Please bring identification to be tested. Below are the testing dates, locations, and hours.


MONDAY, MAY 18 Oak Harbor High School 11am – 7pm
TUESDAY, MAY 19 Oak Harbor High School 11am – 7pm
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 Oak Harbor High School 11am – 7pm
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20 Utsalady Elementary, Camano Island 3pm – 8pm
THURSDAY, MAY 21 South Whidbey High School 11am – 7pm

Governor Inslee recently outlined his Safe Start plan to reopen Washington State, which includes better access to testing and improved data on the number of people with COVID-19. Community-wide testing is one vital piece of reopening Island County and Washington State.


For additional information:


Island County Public Health –
Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)
WA State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) –



Phase 2 Restaurant/Tavern Reopening COVID-19 Requirements

Phase 2: The restaurant/tavern must adopt a written procedure for dine-in service that is at least as strict as the Phase 2 procedure below and complies with all safety and health requirements.


Procedure for dine-in service:


Restaurant/tavern must ensure strict adherence to all measures established by the Governor’s guidance, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention: General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces, and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations (DOH).


All businesses are strongly encouraged to require their customers to use cloth face coverings when interacting with their staff.


1. Hand sanitizer should be available at entry for all staff and patrons (assuming supply availability).

2. No bar seating is permitted during Phase 2. If an establishment has bar seating it must be closed off to prohibit use.

3. If the establishment does not offer table service, they must have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and drink pick-up stations, and seating within their dining area.

4. All parties and tables must be 5 guests or less.

5. Guest occupancy must be 50% of maximum building occupancy or lower as determined by the fire code. Outdoor seating is permitted but must also be at 50% capacity. Outdoor seating does not count toward the building occupancy limit. Outdoor seating must follow all other requirements in this document.

6. Tables must be placed far enough apart when measured from occupied chair to occupied chair, to ensure dine-in guests seated at a table are a minimum of 6 feet away from guests at adjacent table, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables.

7. It is strongly suggested customers wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated at the table (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom).

8. Buffets and salad bars are not permitted at this time but may be addressed through subsequent interpretive guidance.

9. If the establishment offers table service, create a daily log of all customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information, and time in. This will facilitate any contact tracing that might need to occur.

10. Single use menus are required for in-person dining.

11. Any condiments typically left on the table (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single-use or sanitized after each use.

12. Restaurants must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters.

13. Minimize the number of staff serving any given table. It is strongly recommended that one staff person take a table’s order, bring all of their beverages/food/utensils, take their payment, etc


Employee Safety and Health

The restaurant/tavern operating during Phase 2 has a general obligation to keep a safe and healthy
facility in accordance with state and federal law, and comply with the following COVID-19 worksitespecific safety practices, as outlined in Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Proclamation 20-25, and in accordance with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations at

All businesses are required to post signage at the entrance to their business to strongly encourage their customers to use cloth face coverings when inside the business.

Employers must specifically ensure operations follow the main L&I COVID-19 requirements to protect workers, including:

• Educate workers in the language they understand best about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission and the employer’s COVID-19 policies.

• Maintain minimum six-foot separation between all employees (and customers) in all interactions at all times. When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks, and work shift starts.

• Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to employees for the activity being performed. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the jobsite unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details. A cloth facial covering is described in the Department of Health guidance,


• Ensure frequent and adequate hand washing with adequate maintenance of supplies. Use disposable gloves where safe and applicable to prevent transmission on tools or other items that are shared.

• Establish a housekeeping schedule that includes frequent cleaning and sanitizing with a particular emphasis on commonly touched surfaces.

• Screen employees for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 at start of shift. Make sure sick employees stay home or immediately go home if they feel or appear sick. Cordon off any areas where an employee with probable or confirmed COVID-19 illness worked, touched surfaces, etc. until the area and equipment is cleaned and sanitized. Follow the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC to deep clean and sanitize.

A site-specific COVID-19 Supervisor shall be designated by the employer at each job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan.

A worker may refuse to perform unsafe work, including hazards created by COVID-19. And, it is unlawful for their employer to take adverse action against a worker who has engaged in safetyprotected activities under the law if their work refusal meets certain requirements.

Employees who choose to remove themselves from a worksite because they do not believe it is safe to work due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure may have access to certain leave or unemployment benefits. Employers must provide high-risk individuals covered by Proclamation 20-46 with their choice of access to available employer-granted accrued leave or unemployment benefits if an alternative work arrangement is not feasible. Other employees may have access to expanded family and medical leave included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, access to use unemployment benefits, or access to other paid time off depending on the circumstances.

Additional information is available at

No restaurant may operate until they can meet and maintain all the requirements in this document, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply. No reopening inspections are required prior to a restaurant reopening provided they meet and maintain all requirements in this document. All issues regarding worker safety and health are subject to enforcement action under L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

• Employers can request COVID-19 prevention advice and help from L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).


• Employee Workplace safety and health complaints may be submitted to the L&I DOSH Safety Call Center: (1-800-423-7233) or via e-mail to


• General questions about how to comply with agreement practices can be submitted to the state’s Business Response Center at


• All other violations related to Proclamation 20-25 can be submitted at





Governor Inslee recently announced his phased plan to reopen Washington State, which includes having better testing. As part of this plan, counties throughout Washington have been instructed to test a large number of people for COVID-19. In order to reopen, we need to have good data on how many people actually have COVID-19. We need your help to reopen Island County and Washington!

Island County Public Health, WhidbeyHealth, and a variety of other community partners are working together to test a large number of Island County residents for COVID-19. Mobile testing sites will be available throughout the county, beginning the week of May 11. Testing sites will be available on Camano Island, South Whidbey Island, Central Whidbey Island, and North Whidbey Island.

For additional details and to sign-up for testing, please fill-out the survey on the Island County Public Health COVID-19 page. You can also access the survey directly at You do not need to have symptoms to be tested, and you will not be excluded due to insurance status.

For additional information:

Island County Public Health –
Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)

WA State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) –

Island County COVID-19 Press Release 


Governor Jay Inslee announced today the extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order until May 31. Reopening will follow a phased approach for resuming recreational, social and business activities. Every phase will still require social distancing and other appropriate precautions.

As of May 5, Island County residents can return to limited fishing, hunting, golfing, and day use at some state parks, public lands, and county parks. Additional details regarding outdoor activity restrictions are on the Governor’s Medium page. Some elective surgeries are also now allowed, as well as Phase 1 construction.

The timeline for each phase of reopening will depend on disease activity and measures as presented in the new COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard. The dashboard features five “dials” measuring different data points the state will use to inform the lifting of restrictions.

Please continue to follow all aspects of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, except those noted above.

For additional information:

Island County Public Health –
Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)

WA State Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) –


Island Transit Launches New Essential Delivery Service for Island County

Coupeville, WA – Island Transit launched a new service to assist Island County social service agencies and food banks with the delivery of essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Called Island Transit Cares, the essential delivery service made its maiden trip today by picking up 50 boxes of food from the North Whidbey Help House in Oak Harbor and delivering them to several Island County locations.

“As a public transit agency, offering free delivery service for essential items is just another way to fulfill our mission,” says Island Transit Executive Director Todd Morrow, who points out that transit is still running bus and paratransit service for essential transportation, but on a reduced Emergency Service Plan to comply with the State of Washington’s Stay Healthy, Stay Home orders. “While many people are staying home and not riding the bus, we’re adapting our service to meet today’s needs and bring essential items to them through established programs and service organizations.”

Island Transit Cares will deliver groceries, medicine, meals, and any essential items that are not considered dangerous. “We will deliver whenever and to whomever the social service agency or food bank needs us to go,” says Morrow. “Deliveries will be done safely, with social distancing and no-contact practices.”

Oak Harbor City Councilwoman Beth Munns, who also serves on the Board of Directors for both Island Transit and the North Whidbey Help House, was instrumental in helping connect Island Transit Cares with a need in the community. “We’re just delighted these agencies could come together, get creative and make something special happen to fill a need for our community,” says Munns, adding that while she expects initial deliveries will happen on Whidbey Island, the transit agency is working to extend services to Camano Island as well. The service is limited to Island County boundaries.

Social service agencies and food banks that need delivery service for essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic, should contact Shawn Harris, Island Transit Operations Manager, at or 360-678-7771. Click here to visit their website for more information.


Construction Notifications

Central Whidbey: Structural patching scheduled 



In locations that indicate the pavement and underlying ground need more structure or strength, the road is dug up and concrete added and then patched back prior to the resurfacing of the full road surface.  


Work is scheduled to start on the following roads Monday, April 20, 2020 and should be completed by Friday, May 8, 2020.


Terry Road
from State Route 20 to the Coupeville Town Limit.


Morris Road
from Parker Harrington Rd.


This work is weather dependent and this schedule is subject to change. Please drive carefully in work zones and on newly resurfaced roads.



Good news about Coronavirus testing!


America’s supply of testing materials has improved, making more testing available to more citizens.


Beginning Wednesday, April 15th, individuals over the age of five, AND who have symptoms, will be registered for drive-through testing by calling the WhidbeyHealth Coronavirus Hotline at 360-240-4055.


Hotline hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to Noon.


Drive-through testing will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.


Expanded testing plan is dependent on the availability test kits.


More good news: turn-around times for test results are reliably less than 24 hours; often sooner. All patients will receive a telephone call with their results.


If you have any question, please direct them to:
Patricia Duff –
Nic Wildeman –


Stay connected with WhidbeyHealth for current information at or on our website at 



A note from Commissioner Price Johnson:


Local businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 safety measures. The Washington State Employment Security Department is urging folks to do 4 things now:


  1. Go to and sign up for Action Alerts
  2. Download and read the UI checker
  3. If you don’t have one, create a SAW account (Secure Access Washington)
  4. Watch ESD informational webinars


In Island County, the Economic Development Council and local chamber offices are assisting local businesses navigate the myriad of COVID-19 resources. Please do reach out for support and share this information with others.



The Board of Island County Commissioners issued Proclamation C-33-20 honoring National Volunteer Week for April 19 -25.


We would like to extend our gratitude to all of the volunteers who contribute their time and talent to our County and to community organizations who help make a difference for all. 


In Island County, we have local government volunteers who contributed 13,597 hours in 2019.  These were volunteers in our parks, courts, human services, planning, public health, Assessor’s and Treasurer’s office, Sheriff and other departments.  They serve on Advisory Boards, help with documentation, assist in elections, serve the public, clean our roads, help maintain our parks, assist in public safety and represent Island County in the community.  With the COVID-19 emergency, many volunteers have contributed to helping our Emergency Response team and in our call center.  We offer a big shout out to all of you.


In our community, volunteers contribute thousands of hours to help make our community strong, resilient and a caring place for all to thrive.  Volunteers work across Whidbey and Camano Islands serving on various boards, helping increase the impact of direct services, caring for animals in our shelters, mentoring young parents, advocating for foster youth, working in day camps and after school programs, tutoring kids, bring the arts to our communities, delivering meals to seniors and helping get those in need to medical care, helping deliver school food backpacks, working in our parks, restoring our shorelines, helping further research as citizen scientists, volunteering in our schools and the list goes on and on…


For each of you and the organizations you represent and support, thank you.  We do not just honor your work one week of the year, we honor you each and every day.  You are the backbone of a caring community.


National Public Health Week


It is National Public Health Week and I want to acknowledge this amazing dedicated group of public employees who work tirelessly  ensuring our communities are safe.  Although our attention has been called to their dedicated response to COVID-19, this is a group of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes on a variety of issues. 


To recognize them, here are my top 10 reasons to shine a spotlight on Public Health workers, David Letterman style…because let’s face it, we could all use an opportunity to smile and celebrate one another.


Top 10 Reasons to celebrate those who work in Public Health!


  1. Because someone was in college and thought “Hey I want to be an epidemiologist” while some of us in college were saying, “How do you spell that?”
  2. Because rabies are real, and someone needs to handle those dead bats, even during a pandemic. Gross!
  3. Because we thought the idea of a Pandemic was the stuff of movies, while Public Health leaders toiled behind the scenes trying to get us to think about the thing we did not want to think about.
  4. Because it’s one of the few professions where you can be as educated to the same level of a healthcare provider and still make the wage of a public employee.
  5. Because someone had to say, get your cows out of the stream they are killing the fish AND be able to say it with credibility and a straight face.
  6. Because we were killing ourselves with smoking, vaping, lack of exercise, too much sugar, etc.…and we needed someone to encourage us to change our behavior that was not our mother.
  7. Because domestic violence, death certificates, dirty needles, bullying, and malnourished children are something none of us really want to talk about; but some among us are brave enough to have these essential conversations in a compassionate way. (This is actually not funny, but it is a reason to be grateful!)
  8. Because none of us REALLY want to know what goes on in the kitchens of the places we love to eat, but we DO want someone to know…and keep us safe.
  9. Because let’s be honest, do you want to spend your days thinking about septic tank inspections?


And the number one reason we should all celebrate Public Health Week…


10. Because everyday heroes are easy to overlook, but dedicating your life to keeping people healthy, safe and informed deserves a shout out…and if you do not believe me….YOU try telling a farmer to get his cow out of a stream.


Thank you Public Health! 






The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on our economy. Companies and workers are struggling, including self-employed workers. Whether you call yourself a sole proprietor, owner-operator, independent contractor or gig worker, as a self-employed individual you may be looking for help.  


For the first time, new emergency legislation gives independent contractors and other self-employed individuals access to significant benefits programs and financial assistance. We have many contractors and self-employed workers in Island County.


For more information regarding these benefits, please click here to visit the EDC website



There will be a Facebook Live event with Keith Higman, Island County Public Health’s Director, on Friday April 10th at 3pm.


  • Follow this link to find the event.
  • If you have any questions that you would like Keith to address, please email me! We want to be sure to address community concerns and would like to hear from you.


There is a new webpage from Department of Emergency Management with COVID-19 Resources regarding small businesses, unemployment/job loss, and child care/school closure. Visit it out here:


The Washington State Department of Health has launched its Spread The Facts Public Awareness Campaign to help stop the spread of COVID-19. It includes easy-to-share infographics and videos. For further information, click here.


Need to renew your driver’s license? Governor Inslee has taken action to allow the WA Department of Licensing to temporarily extend the expiration dates of driver licenses by 90 days. Read more here.



North Whidbey:Crescent Harbor Road / Regatta Drive Intersection Improvement Project Construction Update




On February 17, 2020 construction began with the Contractor, Strider Construction, Inc., securing erosion control measures, clearing and grubbing, removing abandoned water and gas lines and grinding the asphalt on Crescent Harbor Road and Regatta Drive. 



Excavation to lower Regatta Drive began immediately and is 90% complete.



Soil nails were installed in the embankment along Regatta Drive, followed with the framing of the retaining wall.



Three layers of concrete were applied to the wall.



The retaining wall work was completed last week.



New storm sewer drain pipe and catch basins have been installed to capture storm water runoff. The storm system will include a pretreatment catch basin and underground detention vault.


Excavation for the underground detention vault has been completed.


The project is currently on schedule. Barring any uncontrollable events, we anticipate opening the road to the public by mid to late June.


A message from Commissioner St. Clair:


As we move through these challenging times, I will be hosting a series of virtual town halls. I will provide updates on COVID-19, County operations and answer your questions.  In addition, while County government continues with limited physical public access, I want to address what services are available and how to reach the departments that serve you. 


To participate in this meeting, follow these directions:

  • Topic: Commissioner St. Clair Town Hall
  • Time: April 10, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
  • Click here to join the meeting on your computer:
  • If you wish to call in only, please dial  +1 253 215 8782 and enter Meeting ID: 725 476 5109


To help prepare for the Town Hall next week, I want to share some valuable links to ongoing information:


  • ISLAND COUNTY: Please click on the top banner for COVID-19 Information updates and the lower banner for information regarding County Operations.  I encourage you to scroll down and read important information on how to support your mental health during this crisis and how others can help if needed.
  • WASHINGTON STATE LAUNCHES CORONAVIRUS WEB PORTAL: Help spread the word about the State’s new coronavirus web portal. This portal provides a wide range of information, resources, and guidance for both workers and employers.




  • ISLAND TRANSIT:  Island Transit is on limited service during this emergency.  To learn more about safety protocols and routes, please click on this link.
  • SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE: For information and/or to apply for relief for to businesses, please click here:
  • SIGN UP FOR COVID ACTION ALERTS FROM EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT: Sign up for action alerts from the WA State’s Employment Security Department (ESD) to get answers to frequently asked questions from both workers and employers, learn more about the federal stimulus package CARES Act, and stay up to date with other COVID-19 related info at:


Finally, I want to emphasize that these are challenging times for many of us.  Be kind, be respectful and support one another.  For assistance with questions regarding COVID-19 or to access support services, please reach out to our Public Health Call Center at: 360-678-2301. 


We are #IslandCountyStrong.




Island County COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)

Updated Community Guidance
April 1, 2020

‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ Order
Island County Public Health wants to keep you as informed as possible about continuing developments surrounding novel coronavirus and our response within the county. On March 30, Governor Jay Inslee announced guidance for state and local enforcement of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order. In alignment with this announcement, Island County Public Health provides the following updated guidance:


  • All Washingtonians are required to stay home unless engaging in an essential activity. All businesses have closed, except for essential business.
  • Submit any inquiries or requests regarding Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers to the Essential Business Inquiries webpage.
  • Do not call 911 to report a business or individual potentially in violation of the order. Report potential business violations through the Violations of the Governor’s Proclamation webpage. Education will be the primary role of law enforcement, followed by formal enforcement actions, as appropriate.

Mental Health Awareness:
While social distancing is critical to the physical health of individuals and to protect our community as whole, mental health professionals emphasize the importance of continuing safe social connections at this time. Safe connections could include regular phone calls, texts, video chats, walks with household members, and more. Island County Behavioral Health offers the following tips for managing stress and anxiety:


  1. Take care of yourself: Get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and take breaks from social media and news reports.
  2. Talk to others: Feelings of anxiety are normal in a situation like this. Reach out and talk to people in your community who can provide support.
  3. Avoid rumors and inaccurate information. Rely on official sources for information, such as Island County Public Health, WA State Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. Do what you can- there are always things that we as individuals and communities can control: Wash your hands frequently, avoid close contact with people who are sick, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, stay home when you are sick. Prepare for possible illness with a plan and emergency contact list.
  5. Ask for help. Island County Human Services offers an on-call mental health line at 1.360.678.2346 geared specifically toward COVID-19 response. The call line will be fully staffed Monday-Friday from 10am-8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm. Additional crisis support services include:
    • VOA (Local) Crisis Line: 1.800.584.3578 (24 hours)
    • Crisis Text Line: 741741
    • National Suicide Hotline: 1.800.273.8255


Contact Us
If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Island County, start by visiting our website or our Facebook page.
Public can contact the Island County call center at 1.360.678.2301.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.


Due Dates for Property Tax Payments:


We have received many calls asking if Island County is extending the due date for property tax payments.


The Treasurer’s Office will offer current year payment plans for those who are able to make partial payments for 2020. Please check with the Treasurer’s website for more information, and continuing updates. For those who are interested in setting up a payment plan, this must be done prior to April 30th. Contact the Treasurer's office as soon as possible.


The County Treasurer is vested with the authority to extend due dates when an emergency has been declared (RCW 84.56.020(10)). Due to the continuing financial needs of our local tax districts (state, hospital, schools, library, ports, cities, fire districts, etc.) for the provision of local services, Island County Treasurer, Wanda Grone, has decided NOT to issue any extension of the April 30, 2020 due date for property tax payments. This action was taken on behalf of those districts for which the County Treasurer collects property taxes.


Contact information:

Island County Treasurer
Phone Number: 360-679-7302 

PO Box 699
Coupeville, WA 98239-0699

Island County COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)


Island County Public Health has received notice that two of the positive coronavirus cases associated with the Careage of Whidbey COVID-19 outbreak have sadly passed away. We offer our condolences to the families and friends as they grieve this loss.


There are currently 106 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Island County. 44 of these cases are associated with the outbreak at Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville, in both residents and staff. Public Health is not investigating any other outbreaks associated with long-term care facilities or specific locations at this time.


Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are now spread widely throughout Island County. All residents must take urgent action to help minimize the health impacts of COVID-19. The Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order applies to our entire community, in all locations, on both Camano and Whidbey Islands.


For additional support and information:
WA State Department of Health –
Call Center # 1.800.525.0127, Sunday through Saturday (6:00am – 10:00pm)


Island County Public Health –
Call Center # 360.678.2301, Mondays through Fridays (8:00am – 4:30pm), Saturdays and Sundays (9:00am – 4:00pm)







Island County Parks is committed to supporting our community as much as possible during the COVID-19 concerns.

Please note the following changes at all Island County Parks, effective immediately and until further notice:

  1. Pack it in Pack it out policy at all county parks. Trash cans will be removed, permanent restrooms will be locked. Portable toilets will remain in select locations.
  2. Trails will remain open. Signage will be posted to remind users to practice social distancing.
  3. Boat docks/ramps will remain open. Signage will be posted to remind users to practice social distancing.
  4. The following active use park facilities will be closed until further notice, including all off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, beaches, and ball fields.
    Island County Temporary Park Closures per Governor's Directive – 3/25/2020

1. Moran Beach
2. Patmore Pit Off Leash
3. Rhododendron Campground and Ballfield
4. Freeland Hall and Playground
5. Double Bluff Beach and Off Leash
6. Marguerite Brons Off Leash

7. English Boom Beach and Off Leash
8. Henry Hollow Off Leash
9. Four Springs Event Center
10. Iverson Beach
11. Barnum Point
12. Walter G. Hutchinson

To get up-to-date information about COVID-19 and Island County please click the links below:
Public Health - COVID-19:

Public Health - COVID-19:

Island County Operations Information:

Island County Human Services Assistance

County Offices closed to the public through April 6th


In response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation, the Board of Island County Commissioners adopted a resolution closing public access to County office buildings from March 25 through April 6.  We are committed to supporting our community as much as possible during the COVID-19 concerns, and Public Works services will continue to be provided in the following ways.

Permits: We will now accept permits via email or mail.  More information and fillable PDFs are available on our permit webpage.  

Parks: are open, but some parks / uses have been limited.  Please see the Parks web page for additional information.  

Solid Waste: expect normal operations.

Roads: expect normal operations.

Concerns can be submitted using our Service Request App, or calling 360-679-7331


Please call: 360-679-7331 with any questions

Stay Home, Stay Healthy

Today, in response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation, the Board of Island County Commissioners adopted a resolution closing public access to County office buildings from March 25 through April 6. Citizens who need access to public services will be required to contact departments via e-mail or telephone as a means of communication. Citizens can find contact information for departments and offices at .


Island County’s solid waste transfer stations will remain open and available for citizen use as normal during this two-week period.


Please click on the link below to view the adopted resolution: 

Adopted Resolution C-29-20



Island County Public Health wants to keep you as informed as possible about continuing developments surrounding novel coronavirus and our response within the county. Governor Jay Inslee announced the new “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to minimize exposure to COVID-19 in a press conference Monday evening. In alignment with this announcement, Island County Public Health will now be following the Governor’s mandates:


New Statewide Mandates (effective until midnight on April 6th, 2020, unless extended)

1. All Washingtonians will stay home unless to pursue an essential activity.

2. All social, spiritual, and recreational gatherings are prohibited throughout the state.

3. Effective midnight, March 25th, 2020 all businesses will close, except for essential business.


Please remember these other important guidelines:

1. Maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others to practice safe social distancing.

2. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently.

3. Do not hoard essential resources such as food or masks.


Community Support Opportunities

Both the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation (SCAF) and Whidbey Community Foundation (WCF) have launched community funds to support our local non-profit organizations in response to COVID-19. If you’d like to contribute, click the links provided to learn more!

If you are a health care worker or have available personal protective equipment (PPE), please consider donating to our local healthcare facilities. Donation offers should be directed to

Contact Us


If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Island County, start by visiting our website or our Facebook page.

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m.





In response to the economic impact COVID-19 is having on food establishments, the Island County Board of Health, voted to suspend the collection of food service fees for the second half of 2020.  Any food service business (restaurants, groceries, and mini marts) that have food service license and have paid the year in full, will receive a partial refund. Refunds are estimated to be issued no later than June 30, 2020.


During the discussion, the Board of Health addressed their concerns pertaining to the financial impact of the decision.  However, they determined the local economy and its workforce were a higher priority.


While local government has very few tools to aid in economic stabilization; the Board of Health’s action demonstrates a commitment to provide economic relief in support of our small business community.

Posted by WhidbeyLocal
Friday, 5th June 2020, 02:35pm.
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