U.P. Officials Update Community on Response to Governor’s Executive Orders

Governor Jay Inslee continues to offer additional guidance on the State of Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. To ensure you get the latest and most accurate information, U.P. residents are encouraged to visit the Governor’s Office COVID-19 website for updates. This is particularly important for those who are wondering what are considered “essential” and “non-essential” businesses.

If you are a business owner and are not sure if you qualify as an essential business, U.P. officials highly recommend you review the Governor’s website. Within University Place, every effort is being made to continue to support the local economy so that it can move forward when the pandemic breaks. That means that City staff, working remotely, are continuing to accept and process permit applications. They are even issuing permits, but at this time, inspections are only being conducted for projects that are deemed essential.

The City of U.P. does not have the personnel to respond to calls regarding suspected violations of the essential business rule. Instead, residents are encouraged to use the Governor’s online reporting system to document businesses that they suspect may be violating the order.

The University Place Police Department is not conducting active patrols or investigations on potential violations of the Governor’s Stay at Home order or Social Distancing directive. The department’s goal is one of education to help the public understand the provisions of the orders. “Our officers typically will not respond to complaints about individuals violating the order unless the situation requires a police response for other reasons,” said U.P. Police Chief Greg Premo. Citizens can always call the non-emergency number at 253.798.4721, however, if they are concerned about activity that appears to violate the official order.

“We recognize that these are difficult times for everyone and the provisions of the orders can be challenging, therefore we will continue to educate and encourage everyone to follow the rules so we can put this pandemic behind us sooner rather than later,” Premo said.