Washington’s Economy Likely to Reopen in Phases, Says Governor
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday indicated the state’s economy is likely to be re-opened in phases. The exact timing of that transition is not yet known, though the Governor said it would occur once health officials deem the state ready to begin safely operating once again. The current stay-home order remains in effect through May 4.
In a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Inslee said two elements must exist together before the state can “push the go button on this transition.” The first is continued success with social distancing efforts to drive down the number of infected people, so the virus can’t rebound. The second is a shift to a more individualized effort, featuring rapid testing, isolation and treatment, which will involve the state building a “fire brigade” response approach to COVID-19.
Gov. Inslee indicated, “This transition will not be a light switch, on and off, it will be a dial. And we will dial it up and down, as the data suggest and as our community responds.”
Some of the first things shut down will likely to be the last to reopen, Gov. Inslee said. That process started with prohibiting large gatherings, followed by on-site education, a stay-at-home order for people, and lastly, closing of non-essential businesses. The reopening process will likely occur in reverse order.
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