Washington ‘on fire with this virus,’ Inslee warns


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee held a press conference on Friday warning 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.”

David Schumacher, director of the Office of Financial Management, John Wiesman, secretary of the Department of Health and Nick Streuli, executive director of external affairs, were also available for questions.

A new set of statewide restrictions were announced Sunday aimed to slow the resurgence of the virus.

On Thursday, Inslee announced a new cap on fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery platforms, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and others. 

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