UPDATE: Governor’s update on coronavirus situation; decision on extending ‘stay-home order’ due soon

2:11 PM: Just underway – Governor Inslee has gathered media by phone and videoconference “to provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response.” The pre-event advisory adds, “The governor plans to focus on the need for manufacturers to step up and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies in the fight against the spread of the virus.” We’re carrying it live so you can hear for yourself what he has to say; we’ll also publish as-it-happens notes, and we’ll leave the video window up since TVW usually makes the archived version available shortly after the event ends.

He reminds everyone that whatever the difficulties we’re all going through, we need to keep in our hearts the 200+ people who have died. He says now that it’s April, this could be the “decisive month.” He moves into the expression of appreciation for those working to make PPE available. He introduces business reps who have been working on this effort. The state has distributed more than a million pieces of PPE already, from “three supply lines.” But along with protection equipment, items for testing – like vials – are needed too, “What we have done so far is not enough.” Orders out to the feds aren’t being fulfilled quickly enough, so “We need to seize our own destiny,” as the state did in World War II. So he’s asking “all businesspeople, all skilled workers, all leaders” to ask themselves if they could “change what they’re making now” and instead make what’s needed. “This is a moment that counts.” If you can, go to coronavirus.wa.gov and sign up to help.

After a couple testimonials from business reps, the governor says even making part of a needed piece of equipment is important. He then moves on to another topic: He’s given “guidance” to mortgage companies to find ways to help mortgageholders. He also notes that 130 National Guard members are mobilizing to help food banks across the state, in many cases replacing volunteers who need to stay home because they’re in at-risk groups. He also says he’s concerned about reports of hate crimes – “all humanity ought to be respected in this fight.” Then he acknowledges encouraging reports about how social distancing is working in our state, even better than in some others. But he says we can’t let up now – so it will be likely the stay-home order will be extended, though he says he’s not ready to make that announcement now – more likely in the next few days.

And he reminds everyone to fill out their Census form “so we get treated fairly” with an accurate count of how many people are in the state.

2:31 PM: On to media Q&A. Asked whether his potential extension of the stay-home order would be for a full month, the governor said he hasn’t decided yet, lists the various factors he’s been monitoring, and says “we’re going to make the right decision … soon” because “victory … is the (only) option.” Other questions include potential additional duties for the National Guard – would they be used in enforcement? Highly unlikely, the gov says, especially given that they’ve announced other means of enforcement, such as the reporting/warning system now set up via the state.”The Guard is there to help us mostly with logistics … with some of the construction, delivery of food … life and safety issues.” Another question: Does our state have a ventilator shortage? If people obey the stay-home order, probably not, Inslee replies. … He’s also asked about the backlog in unemployment filings, and says he understands the frustration – “We’ve been hit by an avalanche of unprecedented claims” and the state is hiring 200 people to help process them “as fast as possible.”

2:58 PM: The governor wraps up. As noted above, TVW should have the archived version of the video turned around soon.

21 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor's update on coronavirus situation; decision on extending 'stay-home order' due soon"

  • WSdudeman April 1, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    Why not just announce an additional stay-at-home period of time??

  • flimflam April 1, 2020 (4:39 pm)

    as much as it hurts i personally think it would an utterly foolish move to get back to business as usual just yet. its great that distancing has seemed to help, but it would be foolish to just assume the worst is over and go back to crowded bars, packed beaches, etc 

    • KM April 2, 2020 (8:20 am)

      Flimflam, I agree. There are people who are overly focused on the economy here and want to get back to “normal” ASAP, but what about the economic risk for going back too early? We might not properly suppress this virus and have to do it all over again in the fall/winter/spring. I’d rather be overly cautious now so our “back to normal” is more stable for our health and economy, longterm. 

      • West Seattle since 1979 April 2, 2020 (11:46 am)

        It would be very foolish to go back now. And I don’t think he will—I think he’ll extend it. They may be contemplating whether to extend it for 2 weeks or a full month.

  • Mj April 1, 2020 (6:14 pm)

    flimflam even if the order is lifted people are still going to be cautious and maintain social distancing.  People need to be able to make a living.  

    • flimflam April 1, 2020 (8:39 pm)

      ok, if you say so…

    • tsurly April 2, 2020 (11:25 am)

      Like all the idiots down on Alki did after the initial social distancing order?

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 2, 2020 (11:47 am)

      But what if they’re vulnerable, but their employer says they have to go back to work?

  • Kersti Muul April 1, 2020 (6:50 pm)

    Now is not the time to get complacent.Hoping we extend.Still seeing lots of folks not taking it seriously.

  • Elton April 1, 2020 (6:58 pm)

    The governor sounds like he’s going to lift the order at some point before we’ve reached the bottom of the curve on this thing – I’m super curious to see what will happen at that time. Will people continue to stay inside anyway or will they get bolder and potentially cause a new curve to develop? Certainly there are some jobs (construction comes to mind) where I feel like you could probably still work without spreading COVID-19 if you are able to take the right precautions.

    • flimflam April 1, 2020 (7:24 pm)

      i don’t know, hes also calling on businesses to manufacture stuff for front line responders.would it really be so bad to err on the side of caution? i’d like to see my mom again, personally. i feel nauseous to consider that people think risking even one life for the sake of “the economy” is a good idea.

      • Concerned citizen April 1, 2020 (9:10 pm)

        That’s a ridiculously narrow point of view. The human suffering from the economic and societal damage of these extended stay at home orders will be greater than the virus itself at some point. We’re dealing with multiple variables here, and finding an equilibrium between minimizing deaths from the virus and minimizing the economic impact needs to be found.

        • jissy April 1, 2020 (10:28 pm)

          1000% agree, Concerned!

        • Anne April 2, 2020 (8:18 am)

          100% disagree-No matter how bad this gets-we will get through it- tough -yes of course! But we are a strong country & strong society. This may be a test of our perseverance & humanity like no other -but placing economy ( money) before human life-that takes us down a nightmare path of no return. I pray we don’t take that path.

      • West Seattle since 1979 April 2, 2020 (11:51 am)

        Manufacturing masks or ventilators would be considered essential, right?

  • Wolfgang April 1, 2020 (7:06 pm)

    Everyone in a big hurry to get back to making money should read the short story “The Fisherman & The Businessman”

  • BettytheYeti April 1, 2020 (7:26 pm)

    Neil Ferguson (Imperial College UK)  the person who devised the original “model” for this pandemic. See Oxford Press. Has ALREADY revised the model as stated by Dr. Burke.  The shorthand for those who don’t want to do the homework.  The numbers of deaths are less than our regular influenza . Italy has the oldest population inEurope, the worst air pollution in N. Italy and now fewer deaths than last year (no cars on the road?). I am just the messenger here.  I write this as I witness  “politics” crater the world economy.

    • JamesL April 2, 2020 (8:07 pm)

      I will pass your incredible wisdom on to the entire floor of only COVID patients at my hospital. I’m certain your message will fix them right up and then we can all get on with our lives. 

  • JM April 1, 2020 (7:36 pm)

    @kersti I couldn’t agree more. On my walk yesterday I saw a group of teenage boys meeting up at WS HS with their cars parked and music blaring hanging out. Then as I walked by the back of Holy Rosary playground another group of teenage boys obviously trying to hide from the street but a group of them laughing and doing a workout together. We all get it that it sucks staying home and social distancing but come on some of you parents be responsible keep your kids home! Take away their cars! Step up and be responsible! That goes for all of us. 

  • 22blades April 2, 2020 (4:59 am)

    It is an absolute shame that the local industrial giant, the Boeing Company, sits idle in this time of crisis. Where companies are pivoting to assist in or producing of frontline medical equipment or supplies, the Boeing Company is dead silent. The vast resources of clean rooms, storage areas, staging areas, communication links & a variety of other resources sit idle. They spin the line of rebuilding trust but their actions are absolutely AWOL. They seem to be too busy discussing the merits & risks of taking a government loan. Shame is the word.

  • J April 2, 2020 (7:21 am)

    it would be foolish to lift the stay at home order now. Now is not the time to get complacent. Models are showing that social distancing is working but does not have enough of an impact to lift any sort of order. I am not sure why gov. is taking such a long time to extend stay at home order. It should be being strongly considered and not something that waits until the current one is up. 

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