Inslee calls virus curve ‘stunning, alarming’

Washington

The press conference comes amid a concerning spike in COVID-19 infection cases

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Jay Inslee said nearly all counties in Washington state are experiencing a virus surge.

“We essentially in the same area as they were in March,” Inslee said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“This is why we have deliberately established targeted restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the pandemic and we are hopeful they will work.”

As of Monday, Washington has recorded a total of 147,537 confirmed cases with 2,655 deaths.

Inslee urged Washingtonians not to gather for Thanksgiving and warned about hospital capacity.

Several days ago, Inslee warned Washington residents the fight against the pandemic is ongoing as he announced additional financial support for those impacted by the economic fallout.

“This state is on fire with this virus,” he said from Olympia, adding he understood families and small business owners were feeling the toll from the pandemic’s fallout.

The new economic support, which was also announced by the state’s commerce director Lisa Brown, more than doubles the initially announced $50 million, bringing the new total to $135 million.

The total has been divvied up for $70 million in business support grants, $30 million for the recovery loan program, $20 million for rental assistance and $15 million for energy bills for low-income households.

“We know this is hard on these small businesses, and we know that this will not fully solve the burden so many business owners are shouldering,” Brown said. “But it will help get some of them get through a difficult period. We are going to keep working with legislators, Congress and other partners on securing additional support.”

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