Inslee introduces immigrant relief fund


3 p.m. press conference Thursday

FILE – In this Monday, April 13, 2020, file photo, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee has repeatedly said he will rely on scientific models and input from state health officials to determine when stay-at-home orders can be relaxed, despite growing calls for them to be ended, including a protest that drew about 2,500 to the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Jay Inslee said he is making $40 million available for an immigrant relief fund to help those who become ill with COVID-19 and are unable to work.

He said this will address the issue of people who refuse to isolate because they need to keep working to support their families.

“This immigrant relief fund is going to help workers who are the backbone of our agricultural economy to make sure they don’t fall behind in the expenses of their families,” Inslee said.

Earlier Thursday, Inslee held a meeting with community leaders, agricultural workers and growers in Okanogan County, the location of a big virus outbreak.

State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy and Dr. Francis Riedo of Evergreen Health in Kirkland also spoke at the press conference.

One week ago, Inslee released new school recommendations, saying districts where there are more than 75 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period are “strongly urged” to implement distance learning.

The guidance changes for districts where cases are lower. Areas with 26-74 cases per 100,000 residents, over two-week period, are urged to implement distance learning for most middle and high school students, with possible in-person for elementary and special needs students. Extracurricular activities should be canceled for now.

He also announced a new phased plan to allow some visitors at long-term care facilities.

Inslee will face Republican Loren Culp in the November race for governor.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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