Washington unemployment backlog to be cleared

Coronavirus

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee during a COVID-19 news conference, July 23, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the unemployment claims backlog should be cleared within days.

“The job is getting done,” Inslee said during a press conference on Thursday. He said claims from March – June should be processed and finished. “That’s some good news on that front.”

He said he hopes the $600 unemployment bonus will not end.

He also said he is signing a proclamation that protects the identities and information of those contacted by contact tracers from public records. “We will not release your personally identifying information,” he said.

“Our ability to fight this disease depends on people’s willingness to help the contact tracers stop the train of transmission.”

Inslee said he will be releasing more information in regards to schools in the next few days.

“Unfortunately many districts are recognizing that the rate of transmission is not where we would hope it to be to allow full-scale, on-site construction. Again, I’ll more to say about that in a few days.”

He said he is not allowing counties to advance in the phased reopening plan right now, but that data is being closely monitored.

Last week, Inslee tightened restrictions throughout the state in restaurants and bars, for weddings and funerals, and at gyms in a further effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Indoor dining at restaurants will be limited to members of the same household and alcohol service must end at 10 p.m. Bars, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries must close all indoor service, regardless of whether food is served.

On Wednesday, 8 Clark County school districts announced Wednesday fall classes will be conducted online during the ongoing pandemic.

The 8 districts are Battle Ground, Camas, Evergreen, Hockinson, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Washougal.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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