SPOKANE — Practically 70 state enterprise organizations are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to delay for 3 weeks any choice to return some counties to extra restrictive coronavirus requirements, which might harm companies.
Inslee has mentioned he’ll announce Monday if any counties will transfer backward due to rising COVID-19 circumstances. At present, all counties within the state are in Section 3.
Shifting some counties again to Section 2 would punish struggling companies whereas doing little to cease the unfold of COVID-19, the enterprise teams mentioned in a letter despatched Friday evening to Inslee.
The letter was signed by teams together with the Affiliation of Washington Enterprise, the Washington Hospitality Affiliation and quite a few chambers of commerce throughout the state.
“After a really tough fall and winter, our state lastly celebrated collectively the essential milestone of Section 3 reopening,” the letter mentioned, including the state ought to give attention to growing the vaccination fee as an alternative of rolling again to Section 2.
Section 3 permits companies to function at 50% of capability, in comparison with 25% in Section 2, the letter mentioned. Individuals in a county that’s downgraded will merely journey to a close-by county that is still in Section 3, the letter mentioned.
“Give us three weeks, and collectively, we are able to make a big leap ahead in growing vaccinations and stamping out this virus,” the letter mentioned.
With COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations rising in lots of areas, quite a few locations had been liable to rolling backward, together with Douglas, Cowlitz, Pierce, and Yakima counties.
Vaccines are making a distinction, Inslee mentioned Friday, however tens of millions of Washington’s 7 million residents nonetheless must be absolutely vaccinated. Practically 3.8 million folks within the state have obtained one vaccine dose and greater than 1.5 million folks have been absolutely vaccinated, in keeping with the state Division of Well being.
As of Thursday, 374,794 COVID-19 circumstances have been confirmed in Washington because the pandemic started and 5,322 folks have died, in keeping with the DOH.
All residents over age 16 will likely be eligible for a vaccination on April 15.