Inslee: Phased reopening pause due to virus extended indefinitely

Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of COVID-19 economic reopening will continue indefinitely.

It’s the second time the pause has been extended since first implemented earlier this month. The extension comes days after Inslee tightened restrictions throughout the state for indoor activities in a further effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Seventeen counties are in phase three of a four-part reopening process, 17 counties are currently in phase two and five counties are in a modified phase one of reopening.

More than 53,300 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Washington state and more than 1,500 have died.

The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, and the vast majority recover. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.