Inslee to extend stay home order; economic reopening plan unveiled May 1st; COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard rolled out

On Wednesday, April 29th, Governor Inslee announced a new COVID-19 risk assessment dashboard to help the state gauge when and how to best lift the Washington’s stay home restrictions.

After announcing he would extend the statewide Stay Home order past May 4th, Inslee said more details on the phased-in approach for reopening different sectors of the economy would be released Friday, May 1st. [The governor did not say how much longer the stay home order would be extended, though.]

Governor Inslee during 4/29/20 press conference

Earlier this week Inslee announced ‘low-risk’ construction could restart with safety measures in place and some outdoor recreation areas would reopen on May 5th with social distancing measures observed.

April 29th marked 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington. The governor said in the coming weeks, the state will slowly ‘turn the dial’ on several physical distancing restrictions in accordance with changing epidemiological and public health data.

The governor said there are multiple indicators his office is relying on to reopen businesses while keeping the public healthy.

Those 5 ‘reopening’ indicators are:

Disease Activity: Low and falling disease burden measured by COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Washington; rates of COVID-19 spread throughout Washington; modeling data from IDM, IHME and Youyang Gu; state physical distancing adherence trends.

Health Care System Readiness: Measured by hospital beds; ICU capacity; ventilator numbers; state PPE procurement

Testing Capacity and Availability: Ability for everyone with COVID-19 symptoms and those with high-risk exposures to be tested immediately measured by number of tests performed per day and testing capacity, including supply chain and speed.

Case and Contact Investigations: Ability to rapidly isolate those with COVID-19 and identify/quarantine their contacts measured by number of investigators trained and working; availability of isolation/quarantine facilities in active jurisdictions; percent of cases investigated within 24 hours after a positive test; percent of contacts reached within 48 hours of receipt of report.

Risk to Vulnerable Populations: Measured by number of outbreaks in long term care facilities per week; demographic and equity data

According to the governor’s office, “Ultimately, guidance from the state and the lifting of distancing restrictions is based on the ability to have appropriate health and safety protocols in place.”

The public will be able to view data guiding the state’s ongoing discussions on recovery planning by visiting the Washington Department of Health website or coronavirus.wa.gov.

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