Kittitas Co. roundup: COVID care center, school plans and election results

Here are your Wednesday headlines
Pacifica Senior Living Ellensburg
Pacifica Senior Living in Ellensburg

A lot is happening Wednesday in Kittitas County. We’ve got the latest numbers in key primary races plus updates from the Incident Management Team dealing with COVID-19 patients — and trying to keep schoolchildren away from the coronavirus.

COVID Care Center

The county says it will “do what is best for COVID-19 patients,” explaining it will create what is called an Alternate Care Facility. The ACF will treat COVID-19 patients at Pacifica Senior Living in Ellensburg. The patients would not require acute care or services like ventilation. The IMT says it will be managing this new COVID care center.

Dozens of people at local long-term care centers have gotten COVID-19. There have been recent outbreaks at Pacifica and at Prestige Post-Acute and Rehab – Kittitas Valley. Last Tuesday, Prestige had at least 48 positive residents, including eight deaths. Pacifica had 17 sick residents, including four deaths, and six sick staffers.

School Plans

The IMT, like other local districts, says the county’s schools should stick with online learning this fall. County officials say they were hopeful for in-person learning, especially after reaching Phase 3 in June, but there are too many coronavirus cases: 200+ cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks (goal: <25 cases per 100,000).

“Based on current rates in our county, it is not a safe option to provide in-person education at this time. We are aware that this recommendation has significant impacts and we want our community to have as much time as possible to plan for September and the future of this coming school year,” said the county in a press release.

Election Results

The Kittitas County Auditor says to expect the next ballot count on Friday at 5 p.m. Until then, we have these results from Tuesday night:

No new sheriff in town

Local Primary Election results so far show voters want Clay Myers (R) to stay on as sheriff, favoring him 3-to-1 over Bart Olson (R), who must climb what looks to be a steep hill in order to unseat the incumbent in the November General Election.

Schrier vs. ??

Congressional District 8 results show most voters want Kim Schrier (D) to continue to represent them in Congress. The question remains: who will she face in November? Jesse Jensen (R) and Keith Swank (R) are neck-and-neck for second place. Only the “top two” move on.

He wasn’t ‘the man’ on Tuesday

In state legislator races, voters favored Tom Dent (R) 3-to-1 over Eduardo Castañeda-Díaz (D) for Legislative District 13 State Representative Position 1, and both will move on to November. John ‘the man’ Malan (D) did not make the cut; he secured 3.14% of votes posted Tuesday night. Alex Ybarra is unopposed for Position 2.

The Commish

County Commissioner District 1 incumbent Cory Wright (R) is getting twice as many votes as Kristin Ashley (D). County Commissioner District 2 incumbent Laura Osiadacz (R) earned more than half of the votes counted so far; Jerry Martens (D) and Jessica Karraker (R) are fighting for second. Both commissioner races will be decided in November.


Rick Catlin 34.91%
Patrick Kelleher 26.42%
Tom Morris 13.96%
Ron V Mitchell 12.94%
Jim Henderson 11.21%
Write-in 0.57%

The top two by August 21 will face off in November.

Fire & Rescue

Nearly 80% said “Yes” Tuesday to Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue Proposition 1. Fire District 7 Proposition No. 1 is passing: 69.19% to 30.81%. These propositions are decided in the Primary, not in November.

Again, the county’s next ballot count is set for 5 p.m. Friday.