Lewis County officials: Enforcing Covid restrictions 'too burdensome on smaller communities'

The Lewis County prosecuting attorney and sheriff have joined a growing number of Washington officials who say the latest Covid-19 restrictions imposed by Gov. Jay Inslee are "too burdensome" for local authorities to enforce. 

In a letter sent to Inslee's office, Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Meyer and Sheriff Robert Snaza argue that the state has not provided rationale - or resources - for imposing the new rules.

The latest restrictions ban indoor dining and most other indoor activities. They also prohibit wedding and funeral receptions and limit wedding and funeral ceremony attendance to 30 people. Read all of the new restrictions here

Meyer and Snaza are asking the governor's office to use Washington State Patrol if the state sees the need to enforce the rules. 

"In addition to state imposed mandates, Lewis County has seen increases in domestic violence, drug abuse, drug-related deaths, suicides, homelessness and myriads of other physical health, mental health and crime-related issues," the letter reads. "These additional stressors on already limited resources requires Lewis County to best allocate resources and prioritize our responses."

The letter was written the same day a Chehalis restaurant owner made headlines for keeping his dining room open for customers in open defiance of Inslee's restrictions. 

Spiffy's Restaurant and Bakery remained open for dine-in Thursday, with supporters lining up to eat inside - and to confront potential state Department of Labor and Industries investigators if they showed up to shut down the restaurant. 

RELATED: Washington state reports 50 COVID-19 deaths, 2,090 cases

A spokesperson for the governor's office says staff is "still reviewing" the letter sent from Lewis County. 

The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported 2,090 new Covid-19 cases and 50 deaths, with 241 new hospitalizations.

The state has had 172,432 cases and 2,900 Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began.