Back in the early stages of the COVID-19 Stay At Home directives, Governor Jay Inslee set up a violations report site.

Citizens could report violations of non-essential businesses or other 'activity' deemed to not be in compliance with all the shutdowns.

By way of what are called "sunshine" (transparency) and other freedom of information laws, we have obtained a copy of the list of reported alleged violations, and where applicable, the person making the notification. The list is rather extensive, well over 4,000 that we've seen so far. The vast majority, based upon the data contained in the documentation, were reported between 3-30-31-2020 and the first couple of days of April.

People making the reports have the option to not list their name or email on the complaint. Some did, some did not.

There continue to be more violations reported. We're not going to publicly mention any names, but in sharing some of the complaints filed, you can determine if the site is being used legitimately, or if businesses are trying to "get back" at a competitor; and if some of the people doing the reporting are sadly misinformed or assuming wrongdoing without evidence; or if their concerns are verifiable.

Out of the 1800 we've examined so far, there are 16 we've found from the Tri-Cities. The VAST majority are on the west side, especially the Puget Sound Corridor. Very few from our area, but they are there.

These will be presented in no particular order. The spreadsheet starts at 3-30, and onward through late April, and then begins again with more violations from 3-30 onward. The dates listed are when the actual complaints were filed.

Here are, for starters, a few reports:

  • On April 1st, a person reported on Roaster's Coffee, specifically the Ely st. location. The reporter claimed  "no gloves" used, and claimed there was no "sanitization of equipment."  It is not known if this person had actual access to see the stand's methods of cleaning.  (editors note-multiple reports indicate most area coffee shops were closed to drive through only on or about this date).
  • On 3/31 someone reported on Gamestop in Pasco, claiming although payments were being done online, employees were still "interacting" with customers by handing them their purchases-rentals at the door. The reporter did say the workers were wearing gloves. They claimed the business was "non-essential."
  • On 3/31 someone complained about people who were putting out "door hangers" at Santiago Country View Estates Mobile Home Park. The tone of the report was very panic-sounding, as they referenced (allegedly) the "hundreds of children" who live in the area, the door hanger distributors were "endangering the community."
  • On 3/31 Someone reported Big 5 Sporting goods as not being an "essential business" but the listed the address as being on Columbia Center Boulevard--Big 5 is on 4th Ave. in Kennewick. On that SAME day, someone reported Dick's Sporting Goods, who happened to have the same address as the one given for Big 5.  Dicks is in Columbia Center Mall. Reporting person claimed these were "non-essential."
  • On 3/31 someone reported this about a Mid-Columbia espresso business with this comment below:

“This is a coffee stand business that has over 10 locations around the area and is still open. These places, similar to all other coffee stands that remain open claim they have switched to paper wrapped covered straws, however still allow customers to use their own coffee mug. This has to pose a threat to spreading germs. And coffee shouldn’t be essential when people can make it at home or shouldn’t be out.”

It is NOT known which of these have been acted upon, or any subsequent issues have occurred.  It's worth noting, the bulk are in the early stages of the Stay At Home, and most people agree area businesses have been responsible.

One must ALSO consider people's personal opinions that go into these violation reports. We have seen misinformation listed about some of the reports, where businesses were considered "essential" but the reporters felt they should not be.

We will share more of these, and allow you to decide if violation site is being used responsibly, if it's subject to human opinion and error, if it's legit, or are some people reporting via knee jerk reaction?

You read, you decide.

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