Pullman police continue to issue infractions to party hosts amid COVID-19 outbreak

PULLMAN, Wash. — Officers with the Pullman Police Department are continuing to issue infractions to party hosts in response to a dramatic increase of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Police Chief Gary Jenkins said Wednesday his officers have issued 10 nuisance party infractions over the last six days. That’s two more infractions since Monday.

>> Report: Pullman ranks 5th in nation with fastest -growing COVID-19 cases

Pullman, home to Washington State University, has one of the fastest-growing coronavirus outbreaks in the nation.

According to a New York Times data dashboard, the city has five new cases of the coronavirus per every 1,000 residents.

Many of Pullman’s new coronavirus cases happened after WSU students started moving back to campus.

Police said they first started with an education campaign but found they needed to be more assertive after their education was largely ignored.

A nuisance party violation is an ordinance that prohibits anyone from hosting or allowing a gathering or party, and allowing certain activities at the event. Current state regulations mandate gatherings cannot surpass 10 people.

For a first violation, the party host will be fined a minimum of $250. A second violation will result in a minimum fine of $350. After that, a civil infraction will become a misdemeanor.

Police said nine of the violations they issued took place on College Hill and one on Sunnyside Hill.

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson and WSU leaders have expressed support for the enforcement.