UPDATE: Governor announces some construction work can resume

11:32 AM: Gov. Inslee is having another news-media briefing right now, scheduled to be joined this time by building-industry representatives. Click into the live coverage above; we’ll be adding notes as it goes.

He opens by thanking people for continuing to follow “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” and cites various polls showing support for it, while declaring that it’s “working” by saving lives. He then goes on to say “we’ve found a way (for) low-risk construction that’s under way to resume.” He says a working group came up with recommendations to shape that and expects it to be “a good template” for other industries. But he says he still can’t say “when other businesses could reopen. … The day of reopening our whole economy is not today … it would be way too dangerous.”

11:40 AM: He outlines the safety plan for construction sites, including that “if it can’t be done with social distancing, it can’t be done.” Every jobsite will have to have a safety supervisor.

For other industries, he says, his office and the Department of Commerce “will convene stakeholder groups” to come up with plans.

11:47 AM: After a few statements from building-industry group reps, it’s on to Q&A. First Q: How many projects will be able to resume? Probably most, but the plan addresses “types of tasks” that can be done safely, rather than types of projects, one rep replies. Second Q is about test-kit availability, and the governor says he’s continuing to work on that. Third Q, when will this enable resumption of some construction work? As soon as the governor signs the order, later today.

In response to another question, he repeats that data and science will drive when other industries can reopen, and says that “probably tomorrow” that data will be discussed in detail. On the next followup, he repeats that the aggressive measures were necessary to “bend the curve … We now have bent the curve,” but reopening the rest of the economy has to be “an incremental process.” But “if we push that green button too soon, a lot of people are going to die.”

What will reopen next? As he said earlier in the week, they’re looking at elective surgery and outdoor recreation.

12:06 PM: The briefing/Q&A is over. The video should be available for playback above shortly; we’ll also add any links that become available with details of the governor’s construction-industry order.

3:11 PM: Here’s the governor’s post, with more details.

56 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor announces some construction work can resume"

  • TJ April 24, 2020 (11:50 am)

    Yes dad. And can you please let us know when we can go out and play in the yard? My question sir is how does your science mix with personal liberties and economics? I mean no offense, opening construction is great, but isn’t your science driving down the economy so less people will be able to afford new houses? Please don’t send me to my room without supper for questioning your judgement 

    • Luke April 24, 2020 (11:59 am)


    • Jim April 24, 2020 (12:37 pm)

      Exactly, TJ!!

    • OneTrickPonySpotter April 24, 2020 (12:42 pm)

       <Yawn> Your posts are tiresome TJ.

    • BBILL April 24, 2020 (12:57 pm)

      A possible sequel: “I Call It Trichinosis, You Call It personal liberties and economics

    • TJs Dad April 24, 2020 (1:14 pm)

      Son, you can play in the yard right now.  And now for today’s homeschool lesson on the convergence of science, liberty and ethics.  Science tells us that COVID19 is both contagious and deadly, but not for everyone. Your personal liberty is your right to determine for yourself what you can do, say and believe. Say and believe what you want.  And do what you want As well, so long as exercising your liberty doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s. When you choose (by way of your liberty) to act in a way that causes others to become ill or to die, that’s infringement. As your father, I cannot ethically allow your selfish and ignorant behavior to negatively impact the rest of society.So go ahead and play in the yard. When science says it’s okay, you can see your friends again.  Now go mow the lawn. 

      • Jim April 25, 2020 (8:48 am)

        That’s “possible” infringement, Dad.  The beauty of your logic is that it’s scalable.  The flu kills 60k a year.  YOU are a possible flu carrier and a threat to me.  You might be colonized with MRSA and are a threat to me.  Turn yourself into the authorities, get an ankle bracelet, and don’t leave your house because I have my right to be protected from you.

    • Also John April 24, 2020 (2:51 pm)

      TJ…..  I look at the definition of Science to be;  ‘living healthy beyond today’.  I’m sorry if your disappointed with Science.

    • Helpermonkey April 24, 2020 (3:01 pm)

      TJ, do you also believe the world is flat and vaccines are dangerous? Anti-science idiocy. Get a clue- the virus doesn’t give a crap about your “liberties”. 

      • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:10 pm)

        A person doesn’t have to be anti-science to not want their personal liberties violated. TJ wants to do what TJ wants to do. If you don’t want to go out then don’t. That is the point he is making. If you are at risk, need to be close to someone at risk then stay in. Personal responsibility is a thing. 

        • wscommuter April 25, 2020 (10:10 am)

          The profoundly stupid lie that TJ’s posts all carry is that the only people at risk are a small demographic of elderly and those with preexisting conditions.  The science (darn, there’s that word again) is that severe – and even life-threatening consequences – can afflict all age/health demographics (see emerging data about alarming increase in strokes in people 30-50 who are Covid positive).  Whoever he/she is, TJ is entitled to be a moron – that is his/her right.  But people with brains should call out this crap whenever he/she posts, as folks are very ably doing here.  

  • JG April 24, 2020 (11:52 am)

    I’m curious about residential maintenance/upgrade projects. We put off painting our house as long as possible and this year it absolutely has to be done. It seems like a project that can be done with appropriate social distancing. Any idea on if/when it’s ok to start getting estimates on this type of work?

    • Realsteel April 24, 2020 (7:08 pm)

      Just get estimates.. if someone wants to paint then they will, if they don’t want to paint then they won’t. In my opinion, it is very unlikely an inslector would shutdown a painting crew. Might get a good rate right now as well. 

  • SH April 24, 2020 (12:20 pm)

    Im curious where these are streamed?  Ive searched even the governors’ site and no mention of this conference and access to the most recent info.  Why cant he provide updates like Cuomo? What other pressing issues those he have?  Oh maybe he is designing the new bridge.  

  • EyeballRoll April 24, 2020 (12:35 pm)

    TJ – maybe you should listen to your president and do as he instructed in his press conference yesterday.  Really rally behind the “live free and inject bleach” doctrine.  That’ll show the nanny state!

    • Also John April 24, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      Agree….. Should he drink it or shoot it up?

    • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:13 pm)

      Or maybe we just all calm down and not throw insults around. It was a mistake to say that. The candidate for the Democrats has said a lot of dumb things over his lifetime, let’s not hold a politician to a standard few politicians can meet. Not really relevant to his comment anyway. 

  • Abyk April 24, 2020 (12:37 pm)

    So grateful to have a governor who knows how to have a well thought out and careful re-opening plan. can’t imagine how difficult it must be to try and maintain a balance of safety concerns and economic needs. 

    • Lin April 24, 2020 (2:57 pm)

      Agreed. I was so worried when we became the hot spot of the country, and because of our governor, we’ve really flattened that curve. I continue to wonder about what the next 18 months will look like, but I remain hopeful because of the governors like Inslee, Cuomo, Newsom, etc. Proud to be a Washingtonian.

    • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:15 pm)

      Our governor is lucky he is in a state that isn’t stacked on top of each other like New York. They’re doing the same thing we are yet they can’t get a handle on it because of the population density. Our population density is not even close to that of New York. So while I give our governor credit I’m not going to go overboard and say everything was because of him he was handed a situation that was bad oh, he made some good decisions but by no means were the decisions he made the only reason why we’re seeing results.

  • NQ April 24, 2020 (12:40 pm)

     The day of reopening our whole economy is not today … it would be way too dangerous.” Citation needed to substantiate this claim…

    • BBILL April 24, 2020 (2:16 pm)

      Take a look at the number of COVID-19 cases in Washington and then compare and contrast that to other areas. With the first case in the nation, Washington was #1 in terms of cases, but now Washington is down to 15 or 16. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

      • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:17 pm)

        The population density here versus the population density of the states that you’re referring to for the most part are pretty different. I’ll give the governor credit but let’s not go overboard. We can start opening things up and we should. 

  • Mj April 24, 2020 (12:46 pm)

    And his Majesty has spoken, TJ stay in the room until you are a good boy! 

    It’s time to be treated as adults and not children.  Sweden is treating its people like adults and may achieve herd immunity in the next few weeks.

    • You’re a ghoul April 24, 2020 (1:48 pm)

      … at the expense of literally having 10 times as many deaths as other Nordic countries. Great plan!

      • Anna April 24, 2020 (2:49 pm)

        One thing we might notice though with Sweden is that, in the end, its deaths will be more comparable to its neighboring Nordic countries. It seems like the deaths in Sweden may be more concentrated bc of their approach, but perhaps not more numerous, as they have the capacity to treat everyone with the virus and not fall into crises mode in their hospitals. 

      • Um, No! April 24, 2020 (3:33 pm)

        For now?   While initial deaths are higher,  it will be interesting to see how they do in the long run.    If you listen to “science” like our Governor says to do,  you will want to also “listen” to the science of herd immunity in the next few months.  Herd immunity is not some quack science theory.  It’s real.  While others neighbors like Norway have fewer deaths right now,  how will they do when the 2nd and 3rd waves come about?   According to science,  we’re in for multiple waves. I think we can all agree,  we just don’t a lot about the virus and how it will behave in the future.  For all we know, in 6 months,  Sweden might be the model we look to? To say our way or their way is the correct way long term is just not possible yet.   I don’t have a problem with our approached but I’m also not so quick to condemn Sweden’s.   Time will tell.   

        • Go gull April 24, 2020 (6:52 pm)

          One thing to note, the US is a significantly larger and more populated country, and we stand to have potentially millions more cases and deaths than Sweden. So our approach needs to be different, unless you’re okay with gambling with potentially hundreds of thousands of lives lost, just so we can get through this faster? Really, are you okay with that?

      • Lisa April 24, 2020 (3:44 pm)

        It’s worth noting that at least half of the deaths in Sweden were at nursing facilities that were locked down to outside visitors. The point being that it’s unclear whether a lockdown (beyond the nursing homes) would have saved any more lives. And now they are more prepared for a second wave.

      • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:18 pm)

        And yet they’ve stayed true to who they are. Yes they’ve had more deaths at the same time their economy hasn’t shut down either. In addition they haven’t trampled on the rights of their citizens. They’re letting their citizens make their own decisions and that’s what we should be doing.

        • WSJ April 25, 2020 (1:27 pm)

          Literally sacrificing the weak for the sake of the economy. Disgusting, immoral, selfish, and pathetic. 

    • Wendell April 24, 2020 (1:58 pm)

      That’ll be the same Sweden that has Government Healthcare, as well as Private Healthcare if citizens want it.  Sounds like a nice place to live… where you don’t have to worry about some moron prescribing Lysol.

      • datamuse April 24, 2020 (6:15 pm)

        Along with that, the decision about what measures to take in Sweden is made by epidemiologists working for their public health agency, not by politicians. The structure of government and how appointments are made also differ in some pretty important ways from our own. (My source for all this is friends who live there, and pointed me to this summary: https://bppblog.com/2020/04/23/the-swedish-exception/  .)As to whether Sweden’s approach turns out to be best, as someone else here said, time will tell.

  • Concerned citizen April 24, 2020 (12:51 pm)

    Inslee’s little “science” talking point is frustrating. There isn’t a clear scientific consensus that these shutdowns are the optimal strategy, much less that they need to extend longer.Time to open it up before we’re all unemployed and there are soup lines in every neighborhood.

    • CAM April 24, 2020 (5:15 pm)

      Please point to the “scientist” that does not believe that physical distancing and stay at home orders are necessary to combat a pandemic…

      • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:20 pm)

        Cam, the scientists in San Francisco believe that the infection rate is actually 85 Times Higher and what is being reported. If that is the case, and the scientists are saying it, then the mortality rate is well under .01%. So if all of that is true and again it comes from the scientist then we’re overreacting and killing our economy.

        • Go gull April 24, 2020 (9:07 pm)

          Alki, please disclose your main daily news sources, and a specific source for your generalizing of ‘San Francisco’ scientists that you’ve referred to a couple times.

  • J April 24, 2020 (1:00 pm)

    Next week we might start to see some of the people become symptomatic from the Boeing experiment. Hopefully Boeing will release data about workers with signs of illness, and ensure availability of testing, and contact tracing, on an ongoing basis, so that other workers and industries can make the most informed decisions possible.

    • Greg April 24, 2020 (1:56 pm)

      I am skeptical that the real sick numbers will get reported to government agencies.  From the boots covered with mud to the paycheck deposited there is a whole mess of desperate folks that are willing to silently suffer in fear rather than hold up the job or lose their position in the company.  If you listen closely to the admonition from the Governor’s first Trade Council caller, there is a not so subtle threat to the worker to not mess this up or it will get shut down again.   As if the worker has access to masks, gloves, or even running water.  Most construction workers use filthy portable toilets several times a day that can’t be properly disinfected, but it will still be their fault.  Workers went to work, pre-virus, sick and injured because they had to and that is what the State is unable or unwilling to protect them from. 

  • Aerial Observer April 24, 2020 (1:29 pm)

    Sweden is treating its people like adults and may achieve herd immunity in the next few weeks.”

    Or, they may not, in which case Sweden may well set the global record for per-capita COVID-19 deaths (Industrialized Democracies’ League). Herd immunity is not always possible, and the assumption that it is possible for COVID-19 is as dangerous as it is unscientific.

    There isn’t a clear scientific consensus that these shutdowns are the optimal strategy,”

    Please take a look at the results of various cities’ quarantines on the Spanish Flu outbreaks of a century ago:


    You can clearly see the causal relationship between earlier, more comprehensive quarantines, and lower death rates.

  • Dawn April 24, 2020 (1:49 pm)

    Clear many of our citizens don’t understand science rather believe the ingest cleaner leader( such a beautiful strong thing)follow him, listen to his crazy ( I mean crazy in the literal sense) rantingbut when you show up at HMC we will still take care of you  do our best and  will make sure your name is spelled correctly on your toe tag

    • Barb April 24, 2020 (2:25 pm)

      Why don’t we just lock all the know-it-alls into a room together, with no masks or disinfectants, and let them come up with a better plan than the scientists or the Governor.  

  • HS April 24, 2020 (2:17 pm)

    I’m impressed. They’ve essentially created new “safety standards and guidelines” for residential construction through round-table discussions with industry stakeholders. A big endeavor and sets quite a precedent. 

  • sam-c April 24, 2020 (2:21 pm)

    I don’t know why he keeps leaving us hanging with the May 4th date.  If he knows he’s going to change it, he should let us know, already! I’m tired of the uncertainty.  Extend it or don’t, but don’t talk about extending it, unless you tell us in the next breath what the new date is, FFS.   

  • Curious April 24, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    Sam C, My sentiments exactly! One other question I have, is what does it really matter when we are released from the Stay at Home order? Won’t there be a spike no matter when we return to work (even with distancing in place) ?

  • JT April 24, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    You can always tell who the children in the room are when it’s time for the adults to deliver unpleasant but necessary news. 

  • C April 24, 2020 (4:48 pm)

    Wow I had no idea West Seattle was so full of scientists and people who should run for Governor! I love the trains of thought of everyone who wants to reopen the state yet have no idea what we are doing behind the scenes. He’s not keeping things closed to piss you off… believe It or not he has actual scientists with degrees (shocker) to help facilitate decision-making. Or maybe we should just open the state immediately because many of you are throwing temper tantrums and handing out judgement cards on people with authority; that will end well. 

    • Alki April 24, 2020 (8:23 pm)

      Or maybe this is a nation where we allow people to make their own decisions. And we don’t tell people to stay home for 4 months or 6 months. I don’t know just spitballing there. If you want to stay home then stay home nobody’s telling you you have to go out. For those that want to go out they can go out. I for one but I don’t believe that it should be forced onto everyone.

      • Go gull April 24, 2020 (9:04 pm)

        This isn’t about people who want to stay home vs people not wanting to stay home.

        It’s about necessary measures to manage a pandemic. To both save lives and protect the economy in the long run.

        I for one, don’t believe you have the right to recklessly infect others with a deadly novel virus, just because you don’t want to have to stay home for awhile.

      • C April 24, 2020 (10:22 pm)

        Completely understand why you feel that way but you can’t enforce it for some and not others. As a healthcare worker I’ve unfortunately seen some pretty unsafe behavior in the last several weeks. People seem to think wearing a mask is enough. They don’t realize those masks are only 10-20% in reducing transmission. They don’t realize they need to perform hand hygiene every time they don and doff the mask, otherwise it’s fruitless. They don’t realize they can’t touch their mask once it’s on, otherwise it’s contaminated. They don’t realize they can’t pull their mask down with dirty gloves they just touched their cigarette or the crosswalk button with. Until i see people actually doing what they’re supposed to, i as a healthcare worker can’t push for re-opening. America just can’t handle the responsibility. 

      • wscommuter April 25, 2020 (10:18 am)

        Your lovely “let everyone decide for themselves” idea would warn Ayn Rand’s heart.  It’s all about “me”, isn’t it?  I will support your position as soon as you can demonstrate that you and your selfishness won’t result in you infecting someone else.  Because that is precisely where your precious “decide for themselves” idiocy ends.  If you alone are at risk, then feel free to take your chances.  But since you aren’t only risking yourself, but others as well, then yeah, I’m calling you out as both stupid and selfish.  

        • Jim April 25, 2020 (10:58 am)

          You must really be scared to spew such insults at people voicing their opinions.  It is debatable as to who is being selfish here.

  • Mj April 24, 2020 (6:05 pm)

    I know if a person lifts weights their muscles get stronger.  People’s immune system operates on the same principal, a healthy immune system needs to have weights to lift to stay strong.  Without weight lifting people get weaker and this is not a good outcome and could cause greater problems in the future.

    • Ice April 26, 2020 (10:10 am)

      Stop posting about immunology and educate yourself before you post anything else about how the immune systems works. It’s clear that your level of comprehension is less than that of a high-schooler. Not all immunities are equal. Just because you have antibodies for something doesn’t mean you are completely resistant to it. By your logic, we should all run out and get HIV because that would be great for our immune system. Also, do you realize that COVID-19 attacks your body in some fairly unusual ways? Time will tell if Sweden is taking the right approach here but assuming heard immunity is possible could really bite them in the ass. You previously cited the ‘chicken pox parties’ people used to have. Chicken pox is one virus where your immune can completely block re-infections if you are healthy, but the downside to this is that you can get shingles later in life or if you have a compromised immune system. Given that we have vaccines for chicken pox now, do you really think we should be making sure every last kid gets chicken pox? Please educate yourself before you post any further on this.

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