Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Thursday, April 16, 2020 that he is pleased that President Trump “will follow the constitution” and allow the State of Washington to determine its own timeline to end its “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” initiative.

When things may re-open in the state still remain unknown though, and depend on a few factors.

Inslee said that he will not allow the COVID-19 infection rate to go back up by removing protective measures before it’s safe to do so.

“Our long terms plans to restart our economy are in the works,” Inslee said. “Earlier this week, CA, OR and WA announced the Western States Pact. We are in this together and it will take all of us to get out of this financial and public health crisis. Expect more on this soon.”

Inslee added:

“Before we can begin to reopen, we need two things to be true:

➡️ The infection rate continues to decrease

➡️ Our testing and contact tracing capacity increases dramatically

“Until we have both, we must continue physical distancing.

“We are in better shape than other states because you, Washingtonians, have stepped up to protect one another. I am so proud of our efforts.”

UNEMPLOYMENT RECORD
Last week, the Washington Employment Security Department paid more than $125 million to 250,000 Washingtonians, which is the most the state has ever paid out in a 7-day period.

Many have not yet received the benefits they need, and officials say they’ve received more than half a million applications since mid-March.

Commissioner Suzi LeVine said the ESD is focusing its resources on expanding capacity to make sure families get their benefits.

Here’s raw footage of Inslee’s full press conference:

“Thanks for staying home. Thanks for staying healthy. We’re going to beat this thing,” Inslee added.
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