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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: City health board continues ban on public gatherings as flu deaths rise

The city health board came to an unanimous agreement: The ban on public gatherings must stay in effect for at least another week as flu deaths continued to rise, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 14, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The city health board came to an unanimous agreement: The ban on public gatherings must stay in effect for at least another week as flu deaths continued to rise, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 14, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The city health board came to a unanimous agreement: The ban on public gatherings must stay in effect for at least another week.

For the past few days, Spokane residents had nurtured the hope that the monthlong ban would be lifted. Yet after Dr. J.B. Anderson recited the grim statistics, everyone on the board reached the same conclusion: It would be perilous to lift the ban.

The number of flu cases went over 5,000 and the number of deaths reached 162.

Some doctors argued for making the quarantine stricter. Some wanted all businesses closed except for “essential” businesses. Others wanted a strict quarantine of all homes containing Spanish flu patients. Both suggestions were rejected as impractical. A quarantine of private homes might make it even harder to care for patients.

Several citizens attended the meeting to argue against reopening schools. They said they would refuse to send their children to school even if they were reopened.

In the end, “not a single voice was raised in favor of removing the restrictions.”

From the peach file: The Spokane Red Cross was trying to figure out what to do with 15 tons of peach pits, which it had collected for use in the manufacture of gas masks.

Now that the war was over, the peach pits were unnecessary. The Red Cross said it might sell them to somebody to use for fuel.

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