Lewis County Developing Contingency Plan With One Commissioner in Hospital, Another Quarantined


Two of Lewis County’s three commissioners are out of the office, either sick with COVID-19 or potentially exposed to the virus.

With Gary Stamper already intubated in a Vancouver ICU for the virus, Sean Swope, who’s unvaccinated, announced Monday that he’s working virtually in order to quarantine and wait for test results.

The Board of Lewis County Commissioners is the main governing board of Lewis County, meeting multiple times a week to hold hearings and make decisions.

According to county spokesman Austin Majors, the prosecuting attorney’s office is now working on a contingency plan to spell out how county business would be conducted if two out of three commissioners were unable to work due to COVID-19.

A draft of that plan may be completed, he added, in the next few days.

The county has been providing public updates on Stamper, who was vaccinated against COVID-19. Swope told The Chronicle that he’s taking measures to ensure if he does test positive, he’s “going to crush it.”

“I think it’s smart, though, if you’re exposed, do what’s smart,” he said.

“Put the interest of other people ahead of yours, so in the event that — let’s say I did test positive for COVID — well, I’m doing the smart thing by not exposing other people.”

Last week, the county announced that Stamper’s condition was improving, though he remained on a ventilator. The East Lewis County representative on the county commission is currently at the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.