Washington Governor declares strong progress in COVID-19 recovery, pauses regions in Phase 2
OLYMPIA, Wash. — During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Washington Governor Jay Inslee updated the public on the state’s response to COVID-19. He cited a strong improvement in coronavirus statistics and vaccination efforts, leading him to pause the ‘Healthy Washington’ guidelines with all regions currently in Phase 2 of re-opening.
The Governor provided metrics that suggest the state is down to 1/3 as many daily infections as it was recording in December 2020. During the statewide coronavirus infection spike in December, there were about 3,000 COVID-19 cases reported in Washington state daily. Currently, there are about 1,000 COVID-19 cases reported per day for Washington state.
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Gov. Inslee also acknowledged the many sacrifices of Washingtonians to make these metrics what they are. He says that this progress wouldn’t be possible without the people of Washington wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines. The Governor acknowledged the hardship faced by many small businesses and citizens throughout the state during these trying times.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Governor’s office are still working to build the criteria for Phase 3 of the ‘Healthy Washington’ re-opening guidelines. Over the course of the next few weeks, Gov. Inslee says he will speak with local leaders, politicians, small business owners and citizens to get a better sense of how Washington communities are responding to the current re-opening status.
Some of the most specific criteria for Phase 3 re-opening, however, will be COVID-19 transmission rates and statistics on the impact of vaccines in various communities.
The Governor also had big praise for the Biden Administration and its efforts to distribute more than 14.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine nationally. Just this past week, the Biden Administration increased Washington’s supply by 13.5%. Inslee also noted that Washington’s vaccine allocation has increased by 57% since the Biden Administration took office in January.
Washington officials are prepared for a new vaccine designed by Johnson & Johnson to come into play soon as national regulators work toward approving it. Up to this point, Washington has more access to Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses than Moderna doses.
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