Inslee says Eagles club in Republic flouted COVID-19 rules and caused super-spreader event

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Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday lashed out at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Republic for what he said were a series of public events they held earlier this month that were designed to flout the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“I heard about a bunch of people over in Ferry County who decided to have a series of social events, in part to show that COVID didn’t matter,” Inslee said at a press conference. “They wanted to show that COVID’s no big deal. That was at the Eagles club over in Republic. They flouted public health guidelines, they ignored clear science and it ended up in a super-spreader event.”

The regional health district for Ferry County said Thursday they have traced 95 new cases of the virus to attendees of the April 9-11 events, seven of whom have been hospitalized, KREM TV news in Spokane reported.

One of those Ferry County residents is currently being cared for at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.

The president of the Republic Eagles club told KREM the events were simple poker and dinner nights designed to attract new members.

But others are claiming they were advertised as protests against COVID-19 restrictions, KREM reported.

“It’s taken a tremendous toll on the community,” Inslee said. “On their health care system and on businesses.”