Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wants You To Trust Him

Matt Lillywhite

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 Creative Commons

Governor Jay Inslee had his weekly press conference on Thursday and he made two big COVID-related statements. The first was that more risky modern strains (dubbed "COVID 2.0") were pushing cases up at an unprecedented pace in Washington, and the second was that vaccinations were the key method for stopping them. Inslee said:

“We’ve given thought to this. I do think in the next several weeks, you will see increasing policies by the state and other entities, like colleges and cruise lines and everything else, that will create more incentives for folks. So that is a possibility going forward.”

For the time being, Inslee and state health authorities are urging people to put confidence and trust in their reopening strategy. To retain the status quo, counties in step 3 must have COVID cases below 200 per 100,000 residents over the previous two weeks and hospitalizations below 5 per 100,000 people over the previous seven days. If a county struggles on all fronts, it will be forced to revert to phase 2 and reduce indoor dining from 50% to 25%.

Unfortunately, things aren't looking good in King County. The area was above all state-mandated phase-maintaining limits as of earlier this week, prompting alerts from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Health Director Patty Hayes to brace for a reversal of policy. If restaurants in Seattle are forced to limit capacity next week, the restrictions will begin on May 7 and last at least three weeks.

However, there is some positive news for those keeping track of local vaccine rates. According to the most recent data, nearly 60% of adults in Seattle have had at least one vaccination, and nearly 35% are fully vaccinated. Appointments are now beginning to loosen up a little more, with thousands of open appointments at vaccine sites this week.

What do you think? Do you trust Gov. Inslee's reopening plan? Let me know in the comments below.

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