Cheney Free Press -

By JOHN McCALLUM
Managing Editor 

Inslee extends stay home order to May 4

 

Last updated 4/7/2020 at 10:42am



OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee has extended his "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order until May 4. The order, issued to slow the spread of the severe acute respiratory disease COVID-19, was set to expire on Wednesday, April 8.

The order has banned all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses. Public gatherings remain banned and non-essential businesses may reopen May 5. If gatherings are held in violation of the order, individuals are encouraged to notify their local police department. Do not call 911.

All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains, and other things necessary for continued operations will continue to remain open.

"Epidemiological modeling from the University of Washington predicts we will have at least 1,400 deaths this year," Inslee said in announcing the extension during a televised news conference Thursday, April 2. "We are yet to see the full toll of this virus in our state and the modeling we’ve seen could be much worse if we don’t continue what we’re doing to slow the spread."

According to the state Department of Health COVID-19 Joint Information Center, as of 11:59 p.m. April 1, the state had 6,585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state. There have been 262 deaths, with 79,418 tests being administered, leading to a positive test rating of 8.3 percent.

Officials with the Spokane County Department of Emergency Management said today that the total number of cases has risen to 182 with five deaths. While state health officials said they are seeing the beginning of a leveling off of confirmed cases in Puget Sound area counties, other counties -- especially in Eastern Washington -- are beginning to see a rapid increase of confirmed cases. Officials believe the number of cases may peak around April 11.

Department of Health officials said in a release today that social distancing appears to be working, and that continued commitment to social distancing is essential to slowing the spread of the disease,

While encouraging social distancing, health officials said residents can still get outside for fresh air. In order to be safe and for the protection of self, family and others, residents are asked to follow these guidelines:

Do outdoor activities only with people in your immediate household (not extended families)

Do outdoor activities close by your home, instead of traveling to do them (if you have to take a car, maybe it’s too far)

If you encounter others, maintain a minimum of 6-feet distance

Gatherings of any size are not allowed outdoors, just as they are not allowed indoors, that includes friends getting together to go fishing or hiking.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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