Gov. Inslee says he won’t hesitate to move counties backward ‘if needed’


Governor Inslee announced the advancement of four Washington counties to new phases last week, but warned he won’t hesitate to move counties backward if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“Four counties advanced phases since Wednesday,” Inslee said in a tweet. “But know this- I will not hesitate to freeze, or even move counties backward if needed.”

Washingtonians can prevent that from happening by wearing a mask, Inslee added.

Inslee’s statement comes the day before he announced a proclamation that will legally require all Yakima County residents to wear masks when in public.

READ: ‘No mask, no service’: Gov. Inslee announces proclamation requiring Yakima Co residents to wear masks

Yakima County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. In just last week, 26% of COVID-19 tests came back positive.

In Spokane, elected officials have pushed for a phase 3 reopening, but top health official Dr. Bob Lutz says that can’t happen until cases lower.

Spokane County saw its second highest overnight rise in cases on Friday, with 43 more people testing positive for the virus.

READ: Spokane County sees second highest overnight spike in COVID-19 cases with 43 positive tests