UPDATE: Governor extends newest restrictions 3 more weeks, to January 4th

10:39 AM: At a media briefing that’s just begun (click into the video above), Gov. Inslee says he’s extending the newest restrictions – originally set to end in mid-December – for three more weeks.

He says there’s a chance they could “recalibrate” before that time, though. But he says the pandemic is currently presenting a “dire situation.”

He’s joined by Commerce Department leader Lisa Brown, who says they’ve already had 16,000 applications for the newest round of business grants (Working Washington), with prioritizing planned for the most-hard-hit businesses, such as restaurants and bars (which now will not be able to resume indoor service before early January). The state will now offer $100 million in grants – apply here ASAP.

10:53 AM: The governor says the extension does not include any new or changed restrictions – just the ones in place now, lasting three weeks longer. It’s “the right thing to do’ to keep hospitals from being “overwhelmed,” he says. He also says that if Congress doesn’t take action to help with extending pandemic-related unemployment benefits beyond their December 26th sunset, the state will.

In Q&A, the governor is asked whether schools will be able to open in January “for the youngest students.” Inslee says they have “increasing confidence” that some of that will be possible – if. among other things, “strong hygiene protocols” are in place. … He’s also asked if any new non-business restrictions are being considered. Short answer: No. He says the recommendation against travel appears to have gained a significant amount of voluntarily compliance, for example. “Washingtonians are really making good decisions,” he says. … He vows enforcement for the scattered scofflaw businesses, but stresses that the “vast majority” are complying, and adds that “what we do in our own homes” remains a key factor in “our ability to restrain this pandemic.”

11:14 AM: Several questions regarding the vaccines – the state is expecting to first get 62,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine (which requires two doses, 21 days apart) and 182,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine (which requires two doses, 28 days apart). Certain health-care workers, and long-term-care patients, are at the head of the line. … What proof does the governor have that the restrictions are working? He says it is a “scientific reality” that fewer people are infecting each other because fewer people are sitting across a table from each other “for an hour, hour and a half.” He says again that “this extension could end up shorter if there is significant improvement, or it could end up longer if there is deterioration.”

11:37 AM: The governor has just wrapped up, stressing the hope offered by the vaccines. The video window above should soon recue to the archived recording of the briefing. We’ll add links from the governor’s website when they’re available.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: We have lists to help – we’re continuing to refresh our first-launched-in-March food/drink-businesses list here (please let us know about your current status/changes), and our Holiday Guide has a list of local independent retail businesses and artists/makers with online shopping, so that, if you don’t want to shop in person, you can still keep it local.

12:16 PM: Here’s what’s just been posted on the governor’s website.

26 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor extends newest restrictions 3 more weeks, to January 4th"

  • Al King December 8, 2020 (2:02 pm)

    Anybody really surprised??

    • Pelicans December 9, 2020 (5:13 pm)

      WSB, There are news stories that are saying personally identifiable information (PII), name, address, date of birth, race and ethnicity will be required to be supplied by people receiving the vaccine shots. This will supposedly be sent to the CDC. The news is saying some states are signing the agreement with the feds, but won’t collect this info. Do you know where Washington State stands on this?

      • WSB December 9, 2020 (7:34 pm)

        No, I don’t.

  • Graciano December 8, 2020 (2:33 pm)

    I was expecting a full stay at home order again…

  • T Rex December 8, 2020 (2:50 pm)

    Not surprised at all. Here is my question:  He spoke about the surge on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Was that a surge because people got together (and some did, then posted their pictures on Facebook!) or was it viewed as a surge because there as was no reporting through the holiday weekend? Just curious. I am not sure how they keep track of this mess. 

    • AdmiralAlki December 8, 2020 (4:37 pm)

      Or was it a surge because of the data dump from not reporting on Thursday/Friday so looks bigger than true day to day.

    • Smittytheclown December 8, 2020 (4:39 pm)

      FWIW my family of five flew to the Midwest over Thanksgiving.  Four total flight legs.  Dined out twice.  Went to Top Golf and of course had a great Thanksgiving meal.  We wore masks outside the home – and of course on the flights – and sanitized often.   No one caught it.  Point being.  Just follow the damn rules and we can stop the spread.  It’s so darn easy to live a halfway “normal” life.  It’s infuriating. 

      • Also John December 8, 2020 (6:27 pm)

        Have you all been tested after your selfish adventure?  Probably not.  Remember that 48% of positives are asymptomatic.

      • William December 9, 2020 (8:18 am)

        It’s exactly because of people with this attitude that we’re in this mess. First, you had no idea any of you would be “fine.”  You were willing to risk yourself and your family members and anyone you came into contact with on your needless journey. And second, you don’t know if you are asymptomatic and if you infected people along the way. Honestly, I give up on humanity. 

        • Phil December 9, 2020 (2:27 pm)

          William, he said they wore masks the whole time. There is no way they could have spread it, if they had it and were masked.

          • CAM December 9, 2020 (8:20 pm)

            You are overestimating the effectiveness of masks. Masks significantly reduce the chance you will spread or catch the virus. They are not 100% foolproof prevention. It’s about dosage. The mask lets through a smaller amount of virus during the same time period than if not wearing a mask but not zero. You can still be exposed and infected while wearing a mask. That’s why you have to stay home if you haven’t quarantined. By definition, taking a plane ride is the opposite of quarantining. 
            I also doubt they were able to inhale food through the fabric of their masks.

      • Pelicans December 9, 2020 (5:34 pm)

        Smittytheclown. Really? How selfish can you be?

    • KT December 8, 2020 (4:39 pm)

      Per my friends at Swedish, it is a surge because hospitals are filling up.Likely this is our life until May, given how people can’t, or won’t in some cases for those lucky enough to work virtually, stay home.

  • Mj December 8, 2020 (5:11 pm)

    Is it really restaurants and gyms that are the main culprit?  Or is it people socializing with friends and family and not taking basic precautions?  I believe it is more of the latter, but restaurants and gyms are the scapegoats.

    • Wsres December 8, 2020 (5:50 pm)

      Studies have shown restaurants where there was in doot dining and no masks being worn because people are eating and drinking is a high-spreading risk.

    • Also John December 8, 2020 (6:31 pm)

      The answer to your question is yes.A recent study obtained permission from positive patients to use their cell phones to determine where they’ve been going. Four places jumped out: restaurants, bars, gyms and cafe’s.

  • John December 8, 2020 (6:24 pm)

    Saw this coming.  I want to thank all those soulless people that had to be with family members for Thanksgiving.I’m sure our hard working first responders appreciate your lack of empathy for them.

  • JM December 8, 2020 (7:04 pm)

    Our unit is full, 90% COVID positive, with CNAs and nurses working weeks on end of 12 hour shifts without a break. Please stay home when you can. 

    • sam-c December 9, 2020 (9:41 am)

      Which hospital ?     (A friend of a friend (a nurse), said the hospitals are no more full that usual- it’s hard to know who to believe… I wish I knew where to look to for hospital press releases, statements and such)  Regardless of what is fact and what is fiction, we will continue to wear our masks and only go out when absolutely necessary.

      • WSB December 9, 2020 (9:46 am)

        The hospital capacity (not broken down by individual hospitals) is on the Key Indicators dashboard:


        80 percent countywide occupancy or less is considered OK. Last week one day was up to 85 percent. Currently just above 80 percent. But that’s overall, doesn’t speak to an individual facility.

        • sam-c December 9, 2020 (9:56 am)

          WSB- thank you for sharing that. Interestingly, from that graph at the bottom: Percent of King County hospital beds serving COVID patients: “On 12/7/2020, 6.1% of beds in King County hospitals were occupied by COVID-19 patients. The target is to maintain occupancy below 10%. ” The ‘target’ line is 10%; on 5/7/2020, it went to 10.7%, but aside from that, the number hasn’t really gone above 10% since March.

          • natinstl December 9, 2020 (11:52 am)

            It’s not just about beds. They don’t have enough specialized nurses and respiratory specialists to deal with COVID patients. You can only ask so much of the doctor’s and nurses who can deal with these patients. 

          • sam-c December 9, 2020 (2:14 pm)

            Natinstl- The references to beds are taken directly from King County’s Key Indicator website.  See here:https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data/key-indicators.aspxI know doctors and nurses are overwhelmed and more.I was surprised that we were below the target line on that item, that is why I mentioned it.  I don’t know what it will take to compel people to take the warnings and recommendations more seriously.

    • Pelicans December 9, 2020 (5:30 pm)

      JM, thank you for all you’re doing. I live alone, and have stayed to myself since this started. But, like most others, the last 9 months have been hard. I have to go to work and coworkers who have chosen to travel now are scaring the **** out of me. They are young and I’m not. When they come back, what will happen?

      Please stay strong.

  • uncle loco December 8, 2020 (7:31 pm)

    Does this mean new years is cancelled? Oh, man we’re never gonna see the end of 2020. Thanks alot Jay.

    • WSB December 8, 2020 (7:52 pm)

      The fireworks were already canceled.

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