News Releases
Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 16, 2001
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Locke’s statement to state employees on current health and safety issues

“The tragic events of September 11 and the recent reports of anthrax cases have resulted in a heightened state of vigilance in Washington and across the nation. I assure you that we have received no credible threats against facilities in Washington state. I also assure you that we are doing everything possible to protect your health and safety.

“As the President and I have emphasized, we must maintain a normal routine. As we carry out our daily activities, it is, of course, important to recognize potential hazards. In an effort to make everyone more aware of how to recognize potentially hazardous items, I asked the Washington State Patrol to compile a list of what to look for when handling mail. The Patrol urges caution when encountering:

  • Foreign mail, air mail and special delivery
  • Restrictive markings such as “confidential,” “personal,” “for your eyes only”
  • Excessive postage
  • Misspelling of common words
  • Oily stains or discolorations
  • No return address
  • Excessive weight
  • Lopsided or uneven envelope
  • Protruding wires or tinfoil
  • Excessive securing material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  • Visual distractions

“The state patrol specified that if you see one or more of these indicators, or if an item appears and no one knows how it was delivered, you should not move or shake it. Notify your immediate supervisor. The chances of any package being a threat are very remote, but if you have legitimate concern it is important that trained professionals examine the contents.

“For more information, contact the Washington State Patrol at (360) 753-0760. I also encourage you to visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation at and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at (“How to Handle Anthrax Threats”) for more information.”

Related Links:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Washington State Patrol
- How to Handle Anthrax and Other Biological Agent Threats
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Washington State Health Department

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