June 29, 2020
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sec. John Wiesman announced over the weekend that the Washington State Department of Health is putting a pause on counties moving to Phase 4 though the “Safe Start” phased approach. The leaders indicated rising cases across the state and concerns about continued spread of the COVID virus have made Phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at this time.
Eight counties were eligible to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 before the pause.
Gov. Inslee says, “Phase 4 would mean a return to normal activity and we can’t do that now due to the continued rise in cases across the state. We all want to get back to doing all the things we love in Washington during the summer, and fully open our economy, but we aren’t there yet. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to make decisions based on the data.”
Wiesman added, “The best thing Washingtonians can do to slow the spread of the virus and save lives is to wear facial coverings, continue to maintain physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Now that testing supplies are available, it is critical to get a test if you have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.”
Wiesman sent a letter to local and tribal health leaders throughout the state on Saturday advising them of the pause.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser