Governor Jay Inslee announced a month-long extension of his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" emergency order Thursday evening. The order, which banned all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses, continues through May 4.
"Epidemiological modeling from the University of Washington predicts we will have at least 1,400 deaths this year," Inslee said. "We are yet to see the full toll of this virus in our state and the modeling we've seen could be much worse if we don't continue what we're doing to slow the spread."
Public gatherings remain banned and non-essential businesses may reopen May 5. If gatherings are held in violation of the order, individuals are encouraged to notify their local police department. Do not call 911.
The state Department of Commerce is providing guidance and assistance to businesses on whether they can be considered essential and other resources they may access to help during this time.
"We have taken dozens of steps under my emergency powers to help people in this time - including moratoriums on evictions, mortgage forbearance, utility ratepayer assistance, unemployment extensions, flexibility on tax payments and cash assistance to families," Inslee said. "We will do more."
Part of that effort is the sacrifice of business owners who had to shut down and of their workers who struggle to pay bills, Inslee said, and it is important for us to work toward coming out of this statewide shutdown. For example, the administration is engaging in productive conversations with industries to devise a safe way for them to get back to work when we can lift that part of the order.
More information on resources available to Washingtonians impacted financially by the COVID-19 outbreak can be found by visiting coronavirus.wa.gov.
In addition to the extension of "Stay Home, Stay Healthy," the governor signed a directive to the Department of Enterprise Services and the Emergency Management Division to secure personal protective equipment as expeditiously as possible.
Inslee Returns Ventilators
Sunday morning Inslee announced the state of Washington will return more than 400 ventilators received from the Strategic National Stockpile to the SNS inventory to help states facing higher numbers of COVID-19 cases.
"These ventilators are going to New York and other states hardest hit by this virus," Inslee said. "I've said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks."
The state recently purchased more than 750 ventilators, which are expected to arrive over the next several weeks when Washington may need them most.
On Friday, Inslee extended the renewal date of personal and commercial driver's licenses and suspended the requirement to hold a DUI hearing within 30 days.