Kittitas County Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson has directed the City of Ellensburg to close all access to Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park, which includes Carey Lake. This decision was made as a result of increasing COVID-19 cases and activity in Kittitas County.

“We are seeing an increase in cases associated with social gatherings,” explains Dr. Mark Larson. “I’ve made the decision to close the park until our numbers are back down to 25 cases per 100,000 residents. This number was the requirement from the state for Kittitas County to be approved for Phase 3 and helps us gauge the level of disease in our communities.”

Kittitas County is currently well above the state requirement at 118 cases per 100,000 residents. Over the past week the average number of daily cases being reported to the Incident Management Team (IMT) is 12 cases per day. The reopening of Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park will be re-evaluated weekly.

We know that this decision may be difficult for those who recreate at this park. We want to remind everyone to connect with friends and family and enjoy activities in a safe way to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 for yourself and for others. This includes masking and continuing to social distance.

We would like to address a correction to yesterday’s press release about additional cases in long term care facilities. It was originally stated that Pacifica tested all residents and staff on June 28th. The correct information is that testing was performed on June 25th and 26th for Memory Care and all staff. All tests were negative.

If you have questions about your health, please contact your healthcare provider or you can call the Temporary COVID Clinic at KVH at 509-933-8850. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the Emergency Department at KVH. If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call the EOC at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305.