Counties with smaller populations can apply for variance to open more businesses than allowed statewide
OLYMPIA – Some businesses could re-open as early as this week under the new COVID-19 order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today. The state’s “Safe Start” plan is a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy.
Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide.
Safe Start sets a careful approach to emerging from the pandemic. It allows for modifications of business closures and physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.
“This phased approach to re-opening our economy will allow us to move forward with a careful and thoughtful balance of our state’s health and economic needs,” Inslee said. “However, if infection rates and hospitalizations for COVID-related issues go up, I would not hesitate to scale these efforts back down to protect public health and save lives.
“I fully recognize the impact this is having on families, workers and businesses, but we have not yet won the fight against this virus,” Inslee continued. “We continue to see infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths across the state from COVID-19.”
While Stay Home, Stay Healthy is being extended to the end of May, the governor announced his Safe Start plan which amends some components of the original order and allow for a start to re-open the state.
Through the Washington “Safe Start” plan, more businesses and activities would re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — data and metrics will determine when the state can move from one phase to another.
Read the full Safe Start policy plan here.
Read the full story on the governor’s Medium page.