PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Counties in Washington waiting to continue reopening will have to wait through at least July 28 before advancing to the next stage, Gov. Jay Inslee announced during a press conference on the state’s COVID-19 response.
“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.
State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy also spoke during the press conference.
During his last press conference on Thursday, 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.
Beginning one week ago, Washington businesses are now no longer allowed to serve customers who don’t wear face coverings. It’s part of Inslee’s “Mask Up, Open Up” campaign aimed at driving down infection rates and COVID-19 case numbers across the state.
The overall number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washington has reached 41,757 as of Tuesday morning. The death toll is up to 1,399 while the positive testing rate is at 5.9%.