DOES THE HEALTH OFFICER REALLY HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT ACTIVITIES?

A combination of Health Officer’s Orders, Governor’s Orders and State Secretary of Health’s Orders have been issued during this response. The Governor and Secretary of Health can issue orders for the state – including Snohomish County – and the Health Officer also has the authority to issue orders specifically for Snohomish County. 

First, we do not take these measures lightly. They are carefully considered and based on the best information we have about this virus and the ability to reduce transmission. We know these rules have a large impact on our communities. However, they are crucial for the preservation of lives. 

In Washington, the state Legislature enacts statutes, the Governor and state agencies enforce laws and promulgate regulations, and the courts interpret the laws. 

RCW 70.05.070 lays out the powers and duties of a local health officer. This includes: “Take such action as is necessary to maintain health and sanitation supervision over the territory within his or her jurisdiction.” These measures are put in place to maintain the health of the people of Snohomish County.

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1. WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINATION
2. WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS?
3. WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
4. WHERE DID THIS VIRUS COME FROM AND HOW IS IT SPREAD?
5. WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS COVID?
6. HOW MANY COVID-19 CASES ARE THERE IN SNOHOMISH COUNTY?
7. ISN’T THIS VIRUS BASICALLY JUST THE FLU?
8. WHAT IS THE STATUS WITH SCHOOL CLOSURES?
9. ARE PUBLIC GATHERINGS BEING CANCELED?
10. DO PEOPLE NEED TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS/MASKS?
11. HOW DO I SAFELY DISPOSE OF USED FACE MASKS?
12. WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS?
13. WHAT IS SOCIAL/PHYSICAL DISTANCING?
14. DOES THE HEALTH OFFICER REALLY HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT ACTIVITIES?
15. WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?
16. WHAT IF I CAN’T GET AN APPOINTMENT WITH MY PROVIDER?
17. HOW LONG IS SOMEONE CONTAGIOUS?
18. IS THERE A VACCINE FOR 2019 CORONAVIRUS?
19. HOW IS THIS VIRUS TREATED?
20. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
21. WHAT EARLY TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?
22. WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT THE SPREAD?
23. WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED OR AT HIGHER RISK?
24. SHOULD I KEEP MY KIDS HOME?
25. WHY ISN’T THERE A LIST OF EXPOSURE LOCATIONS?
26. IS IT SAFE TO DONATE BLOOD?
27. IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY?
28. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION