This past hour, we dialed into the latest media briefing given by Governor Inslee. No new announcement. But one key point – he said multiple times that the stay-home order (read it here), which is now officially fully in effect, may well last longer than two weeks. “”It would not be adequate to knock this virus down for two weeks and have it come roaring back.”
Other notes: “So far, we’ve seen overwhelming compliance,” he said. There are some exceptions. “We are hunkered down but we are not locked down.” You can take a walk, go out for a drive. But remember “social distancing is our only weapon against this scourge.” He also said, “We do believe we are seeing some encouraging signs.” But also: The state still has “very significant unmet needs in testing” and he spoke to the President and Vice President about that this morning. Some PPE has been sent but he still has “long-term concerns” and demands coming in from around the state still cannot be met. “We need the full energy of the manufacturing capacity of the United States of America” to be “fully engaged” in answering needs – he talked about a cross-state drive someone made for vials to be used in tests. States are now competing. “We need … a federal system to be effective in this regard.”
Meantime, back to “some hopeful news” – “some evidence that our community mitigation strategies” have slowed the rate of increase in King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties. He says the curve is flattening a bit. “We cannot let up on this virus … we have to hammer this until we can be sure it won’t spring back up.” He says that’s the only way to bring the economy back – to conquer the pandemic.
He notes that retailers are allowed to sell items by delivery and mail/shipping. Also: New unemployment claims are coming in “five times faster” than during the last recession – “we have seen nothing like this in our state’s history.” One employee category, however, is in a different situation. “We are going to need additional medical personnel” – he has “cleared the decks” for retired doctors/nurses to have their licenses restored. Find out how at coronavirus.wa.gov – he calls it a “medical militia.”
Archived video should be available soon here. (2:58 PM: We’ve added it above)