UPDATE: Governor’s COVID-19 update; no decision yet on King County ‘modified Phase 1’ application

3:04 PM: In Olympia, Gov. Inslee is presenting a briefing, expected to be mostly about COVID-19 testing. We’re carrying it live since King County’s “modified Phase 1” state=approval request is pending – approval this quickly is not likely, but anything’s possible. Notes as this goes.

State Health Secretary John Wiesman is with the governor. Inslee says, “Our testing capacity has grown – we have now done more than 350,000 tests in our state.” He says he’s announcing “a significant broadening of our testing strategy” – the message is now, “If you think you’re sick, get tested.” That’s a big change from the early going, when some people with possible symptoms couldn’t get tested at all. He’s also urging people to get tested if a household member is suspected of having COVID-19, or had come into contact with someone who has it. Then – “stay home until you have a negative test.” He says science now shows much transmission happens before someone has symptoms. And he urges health-care providers to help patients get those tests.

3:15 PM: Secretary Wiesman elaborates – ideally, you’ll get tested within 24 hours of developing symptoms. The state insurance commissioner’s order waiving co-pays for COVID-19 tests will be extended at least through July 3rd.

The governor moves on to talk about ongoing county applications to move ahead in reopening phases, but hasn’t mentioned King County, except to say that “some modified Phase 1 applications are now in review.” He does urge everyone to “not lose intense focus” on the virus itself – wear your face covering, keep distancing, keep washing your hands, etc.

3:31 PM: In Q&A, it’s noted that some states have urged anybody who participates in the ongoing large protests to get tested, but ours is not. Wiesman acknowledged that but said they ARE urging high-risk people to stay home, and all others to take precautions – wear your face covering, take hand sanitizer, etc.

A reporter from Snohomish County noted that its modified-Phase-1 application was sent in Monday and no decision yet. The secretary says “a team of 9” is reviewing applications right now and has about a dozen, including some counties seeking to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. “We know people are anxious to get their answers; we’re moving as quickly as we can, and we want to be thorough,” Wiesman said. The governor, asked something similar later, said, “The reason these can’t happen in nanoseconds is that we’re not a rubber stamp” and want to be sure the pandemic doesn’t make a comeback. “I don’t want to diminish the importance of doing this right.”

The briefing wraps up at 3:57 pm. The video window above should display the archived recording soon.

P.S. The mayor has a briefing at 5:15 pm about new testing availability, in a partnership with UW Medicine (which is doing weekly testing on Fridays here in West Seattle).

17 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor's COVID-19 update; no decision yet on King County 'modified Phase 1' application"

  • John June 4, 2020 (3:52 pm)

    Dragging their feet as usual. All about control freaks in office now

  • Megan Meny June 4, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    What is wrong with our government?  Why would they think that not opening up king county will cure covid-19. Keeping us quarantined is not a cure at all. They already said that more than likely we will see another wave in the fall. Open up for the summer and let’s hope for the best we may have to close again next winter but at least people can work now and save money. Stop dragging your feet let us get back to work. We are smart people we can do what is intelligent and respectful of the virus. Governor originally said two weeks to clear up hospital beds and establish equipment. That was done now let us go back to work.

    • Anne June 4, 2020 (5:31 pm)

      We are smart people who can do what’s intelligent & respectful of the virus??? Maybe some are – but a good number aren’t-don’t keep distance -don’t wear a mask. Let’s all just get out there for the summer- the heck with precautions-Hope for the best- if Fall wave comes-oh well.Are you serious?

  • Tired Small Biz Owner June 4, 2020 (4:09 pm)

    Glad the governor is frustrated. Maybe he can finally know whats its like to be a small business, waiting everyday for an answer on when we can open. Maybe he can understand our frustration with a county that waited 2 days to do something they promised they would do on Monday. Maybe he can understand our frustration with the inconsistencies of allowing big corporate stores to stay open as essential while small businesses, who could do a much better job of ensuring safety of staff and customers, gets shut down.This whole process is maddening. I am beyond frustrated with the city, the county, and the state. The communication and urgency in this matter is sorely lacking. 

    • AdmiralE June 4, 2020 (4:59 pm)

      Make them pay at the ballot box.

  • SO June 4, 2020 (4:57 pm)

    There’s about to be a huge resurgence of covid after these protests fizzle.  

  • pilsner June 4, 2020 (5:27 pm)

    Im fine. I havent worked since december. No unemployment, just living off savings. In fact, i dont want to go back to work untill July.

  • Cool Rick June 4, 2020 (5:33 pm)

    Inslee needs to go. He’s been weak and ineffective during this crisis. I suggest all to read the WSJ piece on how he has misappropriated the term “science” in meaningless political platitudes and consistently misleads his constituents:


  • Mj June 4, 2020 (5:50 pm)

    Businesses need to get open!  What is the justification to not open.  I’m seeing people congregating in numbers way exceeding 50 people where social distancing is not happening.  It’s hypricrital to keep businesses closed any longer.

  • Joe June 4, 2020 (6:25 pm)

    Covid numbers will increase due to the protests, delaying reopening, unless everyone has been wrong so far.

    • Sunflower June 4, 2020 (7:38 pm)

      Not necessarily. The protests are outdoors, people are wearing masks, and they aren’t necessarily congregating around the same people for a long time.

      I really hope there isn’t a spike in covid-19 after the protests, but also understand the need. Stay safe everyone.

  • Dm June 4, 2020 (7:11 pm)

    Do you all not understand that this pandemic is a long way from being over?  If we don’t ease back into “normal life” with great care and safety in mind, a lot more people will spread it and many more will die.  A lot of essential workers have pressed on working, puting their lives at risk.  Don’t let their efforts be in vain.  Our governor has had all of our safety in mind, period. 

  • KBear June 4, 2020 (7:45 pm)

    Y’all might want to look up how things are going in Arizona after easing their restrictions. 

  • Greg June 5, 2020 (6:07 am)

    Reading the comments on stories like this one is always a mistake. 

  • anonyme June 5, 2020 (10:03 am)

    It’s stupefying how many people can’t seem to understand that a virus is unlike any other kind of civil event, and can’t just be ignored so that business can go on as usual.  I suspect the criticism has roots in politics, as it certainly doesn’t follow any of the rules of logic.  “Smart people”?  I don’t think so.  Based on what I’ve witnessed just by walking around the neighborhood lately, anything but smart.

Sorry, comment time is over.