PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a recent interview with CNN, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he is cautiously reopening the state because he doesn’t want more people to die — or have to close the state down again.
Experts say this approach has made Washington state an example of how to properly handle the coronavirus. The report, which aired Thursday night, spoke with multiple experts about how Washington has been able to keep COVID deaths below one thousand while New York has surged to 25,000 and counting, despite both being early centers of the outbreak.
The experts say it was the state’s quick reaction to the virus — something that needs to continue to keep a handle on COVID-19.
The report pointed to major companies like Amazon and Microsoft, which asked workers to telecommute even before a stay-at-home order was issued. That was followed by Governor Inslee’s early orders reducing gatherings, closing schools, and then bars and restaurants. The closures were spread out to prevent a shock to the state.
Washington went from first in U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 18th.
Governor Inslee said he wants to keep it that way. That’s why he is in no rush.
“The pace of that will be dictated by the data that will be based on what we learn every day,” he said. “This is very important because as we move away from the blunt instrument of social distancing towards the smart weapon of testing, contact tracing, and isolation, we have to have that capability up and running.”
Governor Inslee said the state cannot fully reopen without more supplies. He wants more personal protective equipment and coronavirus tests.
Ideally — he says he wants a vaccine.