OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee will announce “actions to combat the rapid and alarming rise” of COVID-19 in Washington during a rare Sunday morning news conference.
Inslee has scheduled an 11 a.m. conference to discuss steps on top of voluntary measures announced on Thursday and Friday to stop the spread of the virus.
He’ll be joined by state Health Officer Kathy Lofy, infectious disease physician George Diaz, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
For several weeks, Inslee has emphasized wearing masks and maintaining distances in social gatherings while avoiding any return to restrictions on businesses that were mandated in the spring when the virus first took hold.
On Friday, the president of the Washington Hospitality Association warned that returning to restrictions on in-person dining could cause a loss of 100,000 jobs in the state. Anthony Anton argued the “true impact” of the spread of the virus is around households and social gatherings.
In a televised address Thursday evening with his wife, Trudy, the governor asked Washington residents to scale back plans for Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday celebrations to only get together with their immediate households.
On Friday, he announced a travel advisory, asking residents to refrain from most out-of-state trips, to voluntarily quarantine with only household members for 14 days when returning to the state and to work from home when possible. The advisory doesn’t apply to people from Eastern Washington who work in North Idaho, and vice versa.
Inslee’s staff has been meeting in recent days with industry representatives and other stakeholders to discuss possible restrictions.
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