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How to report Spokane businesses out of compliance with 'stay home' order

When reporting, you’ll be asked to provide the business name, address and your contact information in case they need to follow up.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County has a created a simpler way for concerned citizens to report businesses in violation of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's statewide "stay-at-home" order. 

People who are concerned about businesses that remain open during the shut-down of non-essential businesses should email InlandBizCompliance@spokanecounty.org or call 509-477-2684.

When reporting, you’ll be asked to provide the business name, address and your contact information in case they need to follow up. Reports will be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Spokane County officials said the information will be evaluated and the business will be contacted if they remain open.

Inslee also announced a new website for people to report businesses that are in violation of the stay-at-home order. The site will be available through the state's coronavirus response site at coronavirus.wa.gov. The governor asked people not to call 911 to report incidents.

Inslee said the state will take action for businesses violating the order through fines or revoking business licenses if necessary. If this is not enough, these cases will be referred to the Washington State Attorney General's Office for civil or criminal charges. 

"Taking people to court is the last thing that will be considered," Inslee said during a press conference Monday afternoon.  

Law enforcement agencies throughout Spokane County, including the Spokane Police Department, said last week that their members are educating people about the order rather than strictly enforcing it. 

RELATED: Why Washington's 'stay-at-home' order won't be strictly enforced

Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said on Monday that police are, however, asking the community to be judicious in their travels. 

“Please don’t confuse our request with voluntary compliance as optional compliance," he said. 

Police will work closely with the Spokane Regional Health District to enforce the order with local businesses if necessary, Meidl said.

Emergency management officials said on Monday that the email and phone line are not to be used to report neighbors who are not properly social distancing themselves. They ask the community to self-regulate and use this contact information for more serious situations.

Meidl also added on Monday that people should not use Crime Check or 911 to report businesses that are out of compliance. 

Washington state launched an online form so businesses can get clarification on what qualifies as essential under Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation that was issued on March 23. 

The order forces “non-essential” businesses to shut down for two weeks.

While this closure will last two weeks, state officials will re-evaluate the situation as more and more people are expected to test positive.  

Businesses are urged to use this portal for up-to-date information and clarification on essential status. 

Businesses who wish to dispute or have their "essential" status put up for review can click here.

RELATED: These essential businesses can stay open during Washington's stay-at-home order

RELATED: State launches site to clarify ‘essential’ businesses under stay-home order

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