Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee warned Tuesday that hospitalizations statewide continue to rise in rates similar to the early days of the pandemic as coronavirus continue surge and indicated he may expand business restrictions.
He repeated his concern about families meeting for the Thanksgiving holiday, but emphasized that Washington is doing better than other states by limiting contact this weekend.
Inslee spoke with his wife, Trudi, in a public address on November 12 that prohibited families and friends gathering on Thanksgiving. He mandated that families stay home with immediate members of their household.
Inslee is clearly concerned about the direction the state is headed in with its COVID-19 cases. The state’s cases are now soaring at 300 per 100,000 residents when the desired rate is 25 per 100,000.
Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rate is climbing rapidly. This week, the rate increased to more than 359 cases per 100,000 residents – up from 254 cases per 100,000 last week.
“We’re concerned Thanksgiving gatherings will cause our case numbers to rise even higher,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health Director. “Please celebrate safely and only gather with the people you live with.”
The increase in COVID cases has increased the possibility that local hospitals may need to suspend elective procedures and non-emergency operations.
“We cannot tolerate the continuation of that straight up curve for very much longer,” Inslee said. “And what we have done is we’ve hard targeted reductions of social interaction in the hope that we can change the slope of that curve. But if it does not, we will have no other option but to extend those restrictions to other parts of the economy.”
Inslee also expressed concern for the frontline healthcare workers who have worked in challenging conditions for more than eight months. He’s worried about their well being as many are hitting burn out.