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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Inslee’

Attendance at high school sporting events can double in size, from 200 to 400, as of March 18. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

A full return to high school sports competition in Washington state took a new, positive turn Thursday afternoon.

In a press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced his Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery plan will transition back to a county-by-county evaluation process Monday, March 22.

Island County will no longer be lumped into a region, and will stand on its own. Also, smaller counties will be held to different numbers than larger counties.

Under the plan, all counties will move into a new Phase 3, which allows for increased fans at outdoor and indoor sports events.

Currently, the cap is 200, and many leagues have opted not to allow fans for any sports.

The Northwest 2B/1B League, which includes Coupeville, currently allows home fans at baseball, girls tennis, and softball competitions.

Road fans are barred, and no fans at all are allowed at track meets.

As of Mar. 18, the limit jumps to 400 individuals at “outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%” and “indoor facilities — so long as 400 people does not exceed 50% capacity for the location.”

Physical distancing and masking protocols will still be enforced.

Five of Coupeville’s six scheduled track meets, including a home event April 3, fall after the increase from 200 to 400 fans.

NWL Athletic Directors have not yet commented on how the change will affect the status of road fans, or whether fans will be allowed to attend track meets.

While many leagues opted to open with traditional fall sports, the NWL chose a spring-fall-winter format for this pandemic-afflicted school year.

That should prove to be a financial boon for the league.

By holding off on football, the leading money maker, until season two, the NWL will benefit from increased crowd capacity, something which has dinged most schools currently playing on the gridiron.

The transition also makes it much more likely winter sports, considered the “highest risk” by the State Department of Health, will play during the planned season of May 3 to June 12.

“The sports guidance applies to a safe and healthy expansion of youth sports,” Inslee said on his official Twitter account. “High-contact sports like basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading will be allowed to have competitions again.”

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Coupeville High School athletes such as Logan Martin (right) can return to action February 22 — a year-plus after COVID-19 shut down prep sports. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sports are returning to Coupeville High School.

Thursday afternoon, on the one-year anniversary of the last time a CHS team played a game, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced five regions will move to Phase 2 next week in his reopening plan.

That includes the North region, which mashes Island County together with Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan.

With that move, which goes into effect Monday, Feb. 15, all seven schools in the Northwest 2B/1B League will be eligible to play athletic contests.

The NWL plans to start with spring sports — track and field, baseball, softball, and girls tennis — Feb. 22.

A six-week season will run through April 3, with fall (March 29 to May 8) and winter (May 3 to June 12) sports scheduled to follow.

Fall sports for CHS are football, volleyball, girls and boys soccer, cross country, and boys tennis, while basketball traditionally plays in the winter.

NWL Athletic Directors are working on scheduling and transportation, and expect to release schedules for spring sports next week.

At the same time, they will also address whether fans will be allowed at games.

Under current State Department of Health guidelines, athletes in all four spring sports will be required to wear masks while playing.

Cross country and gymnastics are the only sports where athletes are currently allowed to go mask-less while competing, with harriers allowed to drop masks after leaving the starting line.

Inslee’s decision to advance five regions forward means seven of the state’s eight regions will be in Phase 2 as of Feb. 15.

The only region which will remain in Phase 1 is the South Central one, which encompasses Yakima, Kittitas, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Columbia counties.

To advance, a region needed to meet metrics showing a decreasing trend in COVID-19 case rates, coronavirus hospital admission rates, ICU occupancy, and positive tests for the virus.

As a state, Washington averaged 2,894 new cases per day as of Jan. 8.

That dropped to 1,327 new cases per day as of Jan. 30, according to figures from the State Department of Health.

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With COVID-19 cases spiking in Washington state, WhidbeyHealth is adjusting its rules regarding visitors.

The new guidelines, issued Monday, are in effect at the Medical Center, Primary and Specialty Care Clinics, and Walk-In Clinics.

Routine visitation is being suspended at all locations in favor of the modified policy.

Temperature monitoring and COVID-19 symptom monitoring are required before entrance of any person (patient, visitor, support person, staff) at all locations.

Additional monitoring of travel history and exposure history is also in place prior to entry.

Patients will not be denied care if exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

Visitors, support persons, and staff will not be granted entrance if they cannot meet the temperature monitoring requirements (less than or equal to 99.9◦F/37.6◦C), or if there is exposure history.

All patients, visitors, and support persons are required to be masked during any/all interactions with WhidbeyHealth staff.

Visitors/support persons to departments/areas of care are restricted as follows:

 

Emergency Department:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Medical/Surgical Inpatient Department:

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.

 

Intensive Care Unit: 

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.

 

WhidbeyHealth Family Birth Place:

No visitors. One support person. If a support person wishes to stay, they must remain in the hospital for the entire length of the patient’s care.

 

Surgical Services: 

No visitors and no support persons. Responsible adult support person should remain in their vehicle or return home during the procedure.

 

MAC:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Rehab Services:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Respiratory Therapy:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Lab:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Diagnostic Imaging:

No visitors or support persons.

 

Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Walk-In Clinics: 

No visitors or support persons.

 

West Wind Café (Medical Center):

Only employees will have access to the West Wind Café. Visitors and support persons may request a meal through the kitchen.

 

Gift Shop (Medical Center):

Patients, visitors and support persons will not have access.

Gift shop will offer “curbside pickup” through phone orders — (360) 678-7656, ext. 3901 — between 10-5, Monday-Friday.

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Outdoor practices with masks, such as this one with CHS softball player Kylie Van Velkinburgh, can continue. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Adapt and move on.

That’s the unspoken mantra for Whidbey Island athletes, coaches, and administrators during the Age of Coronavirus.

So, Sunday’s press conference by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee was just another bump in the road.

With COVID-19 cases rapidly rising across the country as the pandemic slams into the regular flu and cold season, many states are enacting new guidelines aimed at preventing people from interacting in contained spaces.

While there have been no games since February, high school and middle school athletes have been allowed to participate in off-season practices by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

That won’t end, but everyone will have to adapt after Inslee issued an executive order instituting new mitigation measures.

For the Wolves, and their counterparts in Oak Harbor and South Whidbey, the quick takeaway is this – indoor practice, no, but outdoor practice, yes.

“In accordance with the new state guidelines issued by Governor Inslee, all indoor sporting activities are canceled until December 14th,” Coupeville Athletic Director Willie Smith said.

“Outdoor activities will continue with pods of 10 student-athletes wearing masks at all times.

“After conferring with other Island Athletic Directors, this will be the guidelines all schools on the Island will follow until further notice.”

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A star regardless of the sport, Scott Hilborn struck out seven batters while collecting three hits and three RBI Thursday in Coupeville’s baseball clash with South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Coupeville and South Whidbey faced off on the baseball diamond Thursday, playing to a 6-6 tie in a game called after two-plus hours of play.

It was the second game between the next-door neighbors in the last three days, and, quite possibly, the last time either hardball squad will play this summer.

Earlier in the day, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced that counties in Phase 3 of his reopening plan will revert to a 10-person limit on gatherings as of Monday, July 20.

That decision was made after the state Department of Health recorded 1,000+ new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, well above the previous one-day mark of 716 new cases.

Leading the spike is a considerable increase in positive cases among state residents in their 20’s and below.

While Coupeville’s diamond men only got two games in the book, they sit at a very-respectable 1-0-1.

The Wolves bounced South Whidbey’s Crabs 2-1 Tuesday, before fighting to the hard-earned Thursday tie.

Playing on the south end of the Island for the second time, Coupeville got to be the home team, and ended up having to rally to claim the tie.

Coupeville fell behind 3-0 as South Whidbey hit around in the top of the first against Wolf hurler Camden Glover, but then the “home” team immediately began its comeback.

Scott Hilborn lit the fuse with a lead-off single, beating out a shot to short, before Jack Porter followed with a resounding double on mom Jenny’s birthday.

Back within 3-2, Coupeville kept coming and eventually reclaimed the lead.

With Porter firing BB’s on the mound, the Wolves defense shut down South Whidbey, then Coupeville’s offense started really clicking.

A couple of second inning walks set the table for Hilborn, and the CHS sophomore-to-be responded, smoking a stand-up three-run double to left center.

Porter’s bat continued to be red-hot as well, as he cracked another two-bagger, followed by a sharp single from Chase Anderson.

Trailing 6-3, South Whidbey chipped away, plating a pair of runners in the third, then knotting things back up by pushing a runner across in the fifth.

While Coupeville put runners on base down the stretch, with Hilborn and Porter collecting singles to go with walks to teammates such as Johnny Valenzuela, the Wolves came up just short of getting a go-ahead run.

Wolf pitchers Glover (1), Porter (5), and Hilborn (7) combined to whiff 13 South Whidbey hitters on a balmy mid-summer night.

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