Inslee increases capacity for publicly owned or operated, and non-profit cooling centers

Story Body

Gov. Jay Inslee today removed COVID-related capacity limits at publicly owned or operated, and non-profit cooling centers.

“Beginning today, and persisting well into next week, meteorologists predict that temperatures will rise rapidly throughout the Pacific Northwest. Consequently, Washingtonians will be at high to very high risk of heat-related effects. In response, many local governments are mobilizing “cooling centers” to protect people from the weather,” Inslee said. “I want to ensure that local jurisdictions have flexibility in options that can provide relief from the heat.”

The governor’s emergency proclamations 20-05 and 20-25.13, “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery,” remain in effect and have capacity limitations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This order allows capacity limitations to be adjusted or removed in order to provide the ability to serve more people at publicly owned or operated, and non-profit cooling centers.

Eligible cooling centers are those created, administered or designated by a non-profit, state or local government entity; e.g., a state agency, city, county or other political subdivision, or an entity incorporated under the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act or analogous law from another jurisdiction, to temporarily address the health effects of a heat wave.

The suspension of capacity limitations does not apply to private, for-profit businesses that offer air-conditioned spaces to the general public.

All other aspects of the governor’s COVID restrictions remain in effect until Wednesday, June 30th or whenever 70 percent of the population initiates vaccination, whichever comes first.

Find the full memo here.

Background: The Washington State Department of Health on precautions for a heat wave

Check with your local city or county government for cooling center locations. A partial list is below:

Media Contacts

Public and constituent inquiries | 360.902.4111
Press inquiries | 360.902.4136