Skagit County law enforcement agencies on Wednesday outlined how they intend to enforce Gov. Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order.

“As everyone is aware, we are in a great battle with the COVID-19 disease and it will take all of us to defeat this disease,” Skagit County Undersheriff Chad Clark said in a news release. “Law enforcement is asking that you, our fellow citizens, do your part by staying home to the greatest extent possible. By doing this you will not only help defeat this terrible disease, but you will also help your local law enforcement officers do their job in the most efficient manner possible.”

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, there had been 63 cases of COVID-19 confirmed among Skagit County residents. Six had required hospitalization and one had died.

Inslee’s order, which went into effect Monday and will last at least two weeks, states that people are to stay inside unless on “essential” business such as grocery shopping, or if classified as “essential personnel.”

Not abiding by the order could result in a citation, Clark said.

“Unless you’re out here on essential business and for an essential reason, you need to go home,” Clark told the Skagit Valley Herald.

However, he said, the first priority of deputies and officers will be to educate people about the order before they issue citations.

“We urge each resident to take individual responsibility and communicate the urgency to their neighbors, friends, and family and tell them to stay home, avoid groups or parties, and when presented with symptoms isolate from others,” Clark said in the news release. “By doing this, you show you are someone who cares as much about the community as the police officers who are out protecting our community.”

Inslee’s order is designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and associated COVID-19, and avoid overwhelming the health care system.

“We are all in this together and by working together and cooperating with one another we will be successful in our fight,” Clark said in the news release.

Though the release was written with input from the police chiefs of all Skagit County law enforcement agencies, Clark said people are encouraged to visit their individual department’s website for further information.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141, kwanielista@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kera_SVH, facebook.com/KeraReports

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