Inslee announces Washington’s ‘Safe Start’ plan


'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' order set to expire Sunday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Jay Inslee announced Washington’s phased reopening, “Safe Start,” loosening some aspects of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.

During a press conference Friday, Inslee said he is updating the metric of requiring there to be no more than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in past 14 days, from 10 cases per 100,00 residents.

His new plan makes it easier for businesses in bigger counties to move phases. He said he will evaluate on a county-by-county basis. No county is yet in Phase 3.

“This is a path that will have more businesses opening. It will mean more activities will be allowed, and more flexibility will be allowed for counties in a variety of phases.”

Inslee also encouraged all Washingtonians to wear face coverings in public.

“Face coverings are an expression of love,” he said.

The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order expires Sunday.

Within the last 2 days, Inslee has introduced new protections for farmworkers and loosened restrictions on religious gatherings.

On Wednesday the Washington State Department of Health also updated the definition of “close contact” to be in alignment with  new guidelines from the CDC. A close cotact is now defined as someone who was within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes (instead of 10 minutes.)

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