Inslee halts counties’ ability to progress to next phase of reopening plan through at least July 28


OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington counties will be unable to advance to the next phase of the state’s reopening plan through at least July 28.

Governor Jay Inslee made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday.

“With the spread of the virus, we need to continue to pause the reopening of our economy,” Inslee said.

Inslee said cases across the state are growing and dramatically, adding that if the state does not change its course of action, it will only get worse.

The governor pointed to the mask mandate as a way to help keep the rate of transmission and cases down, saying it has been proving to be effective.

A study in Yakima County showed 95 percent of people are wearing face coverings and case numbers have decreased since the mandate went into effect. A study in Spokane County showed 65 percent of people were wearing face masks.

“I am simultaenously hopeful that we are going to see an increase in social distancing and masking, and recognition that it might not be enough given the numbers we’ve been seeing,” Inslee said.