It's causing quite the stir in our region and around the state.

BENTON COUNTY SHERIFF ISSUES STATEMENT ON BOARD OF HEALTH PROPOSAL

Benton County Sheriff Steve Croskrey has issued a statement after his department received a ton of calls and inquiries from area citizens about a Washington State Health Board proposal. HIs statement is further down in the story.

The Board will be holding a day-long meeting and taking public input and comments Wednesday from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. According to their agenda, the public comment section is slated to begin at 1:30 PM.

Croskrey's statement stems from a proposal to add COVID-19 to the list of diseases that could potentially result in an involuntary quarantine for a person or persons.

QUARATINE-INVOLUNTARY QUARANTINE HAS BEEN ON THE BOOKS SINCE 2003

people are VERY wary of the state's actions behind the scenes. This is the same Health Department that was outed for reporting gunshot victims as COVID deaths in 2020. 

The Washington Administrative Code, or WAC, are laws and regulations for state agencies, such as the Department of Health.  WAC 246-100-045 deals with quarantine for deadly and easily transmitted diseases.  The Board is considering adding COVID-19 to the official list of such diseases.

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The proposal that has people concerned is WAC 246-100-040.  These are part of 045, the 'doomsday' rules, and also have been on the books since 2003. These are the rules that would allow a County Health Officer to enlist the services of local law enforcement to force a quarantine for a person or persons who refuse to do it themselves--provided they've been diagnosed with a disease on the list.

 WHY ARE CITIZENS VERY UPSET OVER THIS?

Given the heavy-handed and executive-order-laden COVID policy (forced business lockdowns, distance learning, the infamous "snitch list" where people could report non-compliant businesses, and more)  people are VERY wary of the state's actions behind the scenes. This is the same Health Department that was outed for reporting gunshot victims as COVID deaths in 2020. 

There is concern if COVID is added to the WAC, there could be potential for misuse by officials.

The Board of Health issued a statement Tuesday saying they are NOT going to take any formal action on either this or the adding of COVID to mandatory child vaccines at this hearing Wednesday.

  SHERIFF CROSKREY'S STATEMENT

"As the Sheriff of Benton County, I have been receiving inquiries from those residing in Benton County regarding the upcoming State Board of Health meeting that is scheduled for January 12th. Citizens are concerned that the upcoming State Board of Health meeting is a precursor to involuntary isolation or quarantine related to COVID-19.
I have made attempts to find out exactly what the meetings will be regarding, and I have not been able to get a lot of information. For me as the Benton County Sheriff, to make a public statement regarding this meeting without full knowledge would be remiss on my part. I will be attending the meeting in order to provide additional information to all.
As your Sheriff, I am committed to protecting the constitutional rights of all who reside in Benton County. The State Health Board has no authority to force me or my designees to forcefully detain people for non-criminal matters or restrict their movement. We must be patient as we gather additional facts and as I learn more on the topic, I will provide a follow up statement."
    We will be monitoring the Board of Health meeting on Wednesday, and from the information we've received, perhaps thousands of citizens will as well. Our previous story contains a link to sign up for the zoom meeting.  Click here.

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