Inslee unveils Washington’s ‘Safe Start’ reopening plan


An RV parks at the already barricaded streets onto the Capitol campus before a protest opposing Washington state’s stay-home order to slow the coronavirus outbreak Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Olympia, Wash. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has blasted President Donald Trump’s calls to “liberate” parts of the country from stay-at-home and other orders that are designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Inslee says that Trump is fomenting a potentially deadly “insubordination” among his followers before the pandemic is contained. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a new plan for a phased reopening of Washington on Monday.

The new “Safe Start Washington” plan includes social distancing measures and requirements for contact tracing and testing.

Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide. The counties must have a population of less
than 75,000 that have not identified a resident with COVID-19 for the past three weeks.

“This phased approach to re-opening our economy will allow us to move forward with a careful and thoughtful balance of our state’s health and economic needs,” Inslee said. “However, if infection rates and hospitalizations for COVID-related issues go up, I would not hesitate to scale these efforts back down to protect public health and save lives.”

Last week, Inslee extended his Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 31.

More than 15,000 positive coronavirus cases and 800 deaths have been recorded in Washington since the outbreak took hold.

On Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown extended the state of emergency in the state through July 6.

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