PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was joined by his wife Trudi on Thursday to plea to Washingtonians to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings.
“We’re only going to have to do this once,” Inslee said, citing recent reports that a COVID vaccine will be widely available by Thanksgiving 2021.
He said the number of virus cases in the state have doubled in recent weeks, and said he will be announcing further measures to curb the spread next week.
“We’re all fatigued. It’s okay not to feel okay right now, but what happens next in our state depends what happens with our family and our homes,” Trudi Inslee said.
“Tonight we have a simple request from our family to yours. Please do not have a Thanksgiving gathering unless you are sure everyone there has quarantined successfully for 14 days, which would start today,” Governor Inslee said.
KOIN 6 News spoke with multiple people in Clark County who said they weren’t surprised by Inslee’s call to visit with loved ones online or by phone, with many saying they already started making plans to stay home this year.
“We actually had to change our plans. We were planning to spend our Thanksgiving with our in-laws that live in Washougal. And due to COVID and risks and cases on the rise, just my family and I are going to do it ourselves,” Vancouver resident Matt Harding said.
As of Monday night, Washington has recorded 120,011 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,482 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. On Thursday afternoon, Oregon announced a new record, shattering the previous record set last week.
Washington is among a handful of Western states that have joined a pact to independently review the safety and efficacy of any coronavirus vaccine that is ultimately approved by the FDA before any distribution occurs in those states.
California was the first to announce such a plan. Governor Gavin Newsom said the independent review would happen regardless of who wins next week’s presidential election.
Oregon and Nevada are also part of the work group.
Inslee stressed that the public health experts in the group will concurrently be reviewing publicly released data before FDA approval of a vaccine, and that any decision by the group should come within days after federal approval.
Inslee also said he is proud of Washingtonians for helping stop the spread of COVID-19 but encouraged them to do even more.
“We have saved thousands of lives in Washington already. We have the ability to save even more lives even before the vaccine,” Inslee said.
Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus