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January 15, 2021

Board of Health cancels January 20 meeting, declines to consider Skagit County Code 12.54

Yesterday, the Skagit County Board of Health met in special session to discuss proposed Skagit County Code 12.54, Civil Penalties for Violation of Health Officer’s Orders. The proposed code was set to be discussed and finalized on January 20, 2021, but the Board of Health today chose to cancel the meeting and decline consideration of Skagit County Code 12.54.

“The timing for this is not right,” said Commissioner Lisa Janicki. “This proposal has captured a lot of public interest, and it’s clear that the public does not want this code adopted. I see no reason to move forward.”

Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson said, “Education and messaging has been our most effective tool to encourage good health behaviors and practices throughout the pandemic, and we had no intention of ever deviating from those as our primary practices. As we shift to focusing on vaccinations, its important that Public Health builds trust and support within the community over all else. I agree with the Board’s decision.”

“The most important thing we can do is provide hope and guidance on vaccines,” said Dr. Connie Davis, who serves as one of the non-elected members of the Board of Health. “This isn’t the time to put forward punitive measures.”

Mr. Aaron Katz said, “We really appreciate all folks have done throughout the pandemic to keep social distances and use masks, and ask that they keep up the good work. We’re all looking forward to the vaccines, but until we vaccinate enough people, we all need to keep up those preventive measures. We’re in this for at least a few more months.”

For more information related to Skagit County Code 12.54, visit www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus. If you have questions or need additional information about the measure, call the Skagit Prosecutor’s office at 360-416-1600.