OLYMPIA – The Governors of Washington, Oregon and California announced this week that they have agreed on a shared vision for reopening businesses during the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Residents in those states currently are under “stay home stay healthy” orders.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the states have agreed on certain principles that include putting the health of residents first, basing decisions on science rather than politics, and working together with each other to arrive at a mutually agreeable reopening plan.
Inslee did not elaborate on the timing for a recovery plan.
While the West Coast states have demonstrated success in flattening the curves of infection, Inslee identified four goals for public health officials:
- Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.
- Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
- Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.
Inslee said that in the coming days, he, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Oregon Governor Kate Brown would continue discussions to develop a path to economic recovery.
East Coast governors announced a similar cooperative agreement including New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.