Gov. Jay Inslee officially declares a state of emergency due to COVID-19


WASHINGTON STATE — Gov. Jay Inslee officially declared a state of emergency in response to new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, Feb. 29.
He directed state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

This comes after Seattle and King County announced the first U.S. death from the coronavirus on Saturday.

A proclamation directs state agencies and departments to use state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from coronavirus cases. This proclamation also allows the use of the Washington National Guard, if necessary.

“This will allow us to get the resources we need,” Inslee said. “This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state.”

Inslee also mentioned that state directors have been preparing since the first case appeared in Snohomish County.

The first U.S. case of COVID-19 occurred when a Snohomish County man who recently traveled to Wuhan, China fell ill in January. That man has now recovered.

On Feb. 28, the state Department of Health announced two new cases of the coronavirus were detected, one in King County and one in Snohomish County. Both patients, a woman who recently traveled to South Korea and a teenager with no travel history, are recovering at home and remain in isolation.

“Washingtonians can be assured we’ve taken this threat seriously and have been working in collaboration with our healthcare partners to develop plans and procedures to prepare for what could likely be a world-wide pandemic,” Inslee said.