With dropping hospitalization rates, improving vaccination rates, and broad access to masks and tests, Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the state can soon move into a less restrictive phase of the COVID-19 response. The lifting of statewide measures does not prohibit local governments from the ability to enact measures in response to COVID-19 activity in their communities.
"The virus has changed significantly over the past two years, and so has our ability to fight it. While caution is still needed, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic," Inslee said at today's press conference.
Inslee and leaders from the state Department of Health said the combination of dropping COVID-19 hospitalization rates and efficacy of vaccines in preventing severe illness and hospitalization are important indicators that statewide requirements can begin to loosen.
"Vaccination remains our most essential protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19. It's also crucial to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed again," Inslee said. "If you've been procrastinating, now is the time to get the shot."
Updated Proclamation 21-08.01 COVID-19 Safe Workers.
Updated Proclamation 20-25.18 COVID-19 Washington Ready.
Updated Proclamation 20-03.07 Face Coverings - Statewide.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.