Inslee limits social gatherings for most counties in Washington


Inslee will be joined by the Washington Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Governor Jay Inslee placed additional limitations on social gatherings for most counties in the state on Thursday.

He said the limit of 5 people per gathering remains in affect for Phase 2 counties, which is most of the state. However, for counties in Phase 3, he is now limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people. He also placed a ban on indoor and outdoor live entertainment.

“Something has to change fairly significantly or we are going to be back where we were in March and April,” Inslee said.

He said no dramatic decisions have yet been made about opening schools in the fall.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Inslee announced that counties in Washington waiting to continue reopening will have to wait through at least July 28 before advancing to the next stage.

“There is a significant chance we would have to take some of these measures,” he said Tuesday when asked about rolling back reopenings in some counties due to an uptick in cases.

“I am simultaneously hopeful that we’re going to see an increase in social distancing and mask-wearing and recognition that may not be enough, given the numbers we are seeing,” he said. “We are going to control our own destiny in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. He continued to urge Washingtonians to wear masks and social distance.

A week ago, Inslee spoke about plans for schools this fall, saying the state of Washington will ultimately make the decision, not the White House.

“As with a lot of their claims, they have tried to bully us into making decisions that are not best in the state of Washington. We know this – decisions about schools, and how to have it on site or otherwise, will remain with the state of Washington. These are Washington students and Washington state has the legal authority to make the decision about their education,” he said.

Inslee said he hopes schools can open, and wants it to be done in the safest way possible.

Thursday’s press conference is slated to begin at 2:30 p.m. KOIN 6 News will update this story when new information is available.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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