Gov. Jay Inslee. (Facebook)
New coronavirus restrictions could be coming sooner than expected. Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled to speak on Sunday at 11 a.m.
KTTH will carry Inslee’s address live. You can hear it here or on the KTTH app.
Inslee will address next steps in the state’s COVID-19 response, which will likely involve tighter rules. This comes after the state saw its largest ever daily case increase on Friday, with more than 2,000 new cases in 24 hours. There was an increase of over 2,200 cases on Saturday.
On Friday, the governor issued a travel advisory, asking travelers to Washington to quarantine for 14 days. This was in partnership with the governors in Oregon and California.
The advisory encompasses any travelers arriving in Washington from out of the state or country, “including returning Washington residents.” This does not apply to anyone who crosses state or international borders for “essential travel.”
“COVID-19 cases have doubled in Washington over the past two weeks. This puts our state in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” Inslee said in a written release on Friday.
The night before, Gov. Inslee and his wife addressed the state, asking residents to rethink how they celebrate Thanksgiving and the December holidays. In the same speech, Inslee hinted at further actions in the coming days.
“Please don’t gather with people outside of your household, it’s just too dangerous,” the governor said.
Gov. Inslee first issued a stay-at-home proclamation on March 23 when cases in Washington state began increasing. Many school districts across the state began sending home students the week prior. The order immediately went into effect for gatherings both public and private, social, spiritual, and recreational. Even funerals and weddings were prohibited. Businesses had 48 hours to comply.
Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, health care services, child care providers, transportation, financial services, the defense industry, critical local government operations, and media were considered essential. To-go and delivery from restaurants were still allowed.
The Stay Home, Stay Healthy order officially ended on May 31. Counties were able to apply to move forward June 1 on reopening plans after applying for and being granted permission from the state. The Secretary of Health would evaluate applications based on how their data compared to the state’s targets and the county’s ability to respond to things like new outbreaks, increased deaths, and health system capacity. Each county moved through a phased approach to reopening, with fewer and fewer restrictions in each phase.
The KIRO Radio’s Meili Cady contributed to this report.