Inslee announces statewide reopening date of June 30

Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday announced that the state is moving toward a statewide June 30 reopening date and that all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan effective May 18 until June 30.

The announcement comes after the governor paused phase movement for two weeks to review an emerging flattening trend in statewide COVID-19 data. As of Thursday, the plateau observed in COVID-19 activity has become a decline.

“What we know now gives us the confidence to close this chapter in this pandemic and begin another,” Inslee said at a press conference Thursday. “This next part of our fight to save lives in Washington will focus on increasing vaccination rates and continuing to monitor variants of concern as we move toward reopening our state.”

The full reopening could happen earlier than June 30 if 70% or more of Washingtonians over the age of 16 initiate vaccination. Washington has administered over six million doses of vaccine, and 56 percent of Washingtonians have initiated vaccination.

In the short-term, effective Tuesday, May 18, every county in the state will be in Phase 3 of Healthy Washington, including counties currently in Phase 2. Most indoor activities will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity until June 30 when most public spaces will return to full capacity.

The governor’s office said that Thursday’s announcement does not mean that Washington’s state of emergency will lift on June 30. It also does not guarantee a full reopening if the state’s COVID-19 data changes. If the statewide ICU capacity reaches 90% at any point, activities will be rolled back again.

Inslee announced that Washington will fully adopt masking guidance issued earlier Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The CDC said it is no longer recommending masks indoors or outdoors, including in crowds, for fully vaccinated people, defined asthose who are two weeks removed from their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state will update its guidance documents — working with the Department of Health and Labor & Industries — to reflect this as soon as possible. Businesses retain the right to require customers wear masks.

The guidance does not apply to health care settings like hospitals, long-term care or doctor’s offices; correctional facilities, homeless shelter, or schools. And the federal order requiring masks on public transportation remains in place.

The governor also announced that starting this fall for the 2021–2022 school year, schools will be expected to offer full-time, in-person learning for all students and a remote learning option for students who need it.

The state Department of Health released updated K-12 guidance earlier Thursday, which updates health and safety measures while allowing flexibility for physical distancing. Depending on vaccination rates in the fall, distancing requirements may be removed altogether.

The guidance comes after the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup authorized the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds Wednesday night. The health department will allocate vaccines to ensure that providers have a sufficient supply for this new eligible population.

Additionally, the state’s Learn to Return program will be expanded with a new federal grant that will pay for screening testing of asymptomatic students and staff to allow schools in the program to take a more preemptive approach in stopping outbreaks before they happen. The program started with 11 pilot districts and have since expanded to more than 100 across the state. To enroll in the program, schools should contact schools@healthcommonsproject.org.

Effective immediately, additional activities will be allowed with fewer restrictions and increased capacity for groups of fully vaccinated people. Spectator events, such as indoor and outdoor sports, will no longer have limits on the number of vaccinated attendees. Small cruise ships with less than 250 passengers may sail if the full crew and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.

This guidance also applies to conferences, live performances, weddings and funeral receptions, the governor’s office said.

16 Replies to “Inslee announces statewide reopening date of June 30”

  1. 50% is 1/2 open. I’m done with this. I want an exact list of every parameter that is impeding me from living a 100% normal life. And I want it a year ago, when I deserved it. Enough goalpost shifting lunacy. We will soon be the only state left with citizens trying to swim with ugly little blue masks on.

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  2. Man, chill out! Take some deep breaths. The gods have been playing with those of us that are only complaining about what you mention. Family and friends of nearly 600,000 fellow Americans have serious loss. Like me I hope you have not experienced this lose. The virus is not yet done with us and it won’t be until we control it both at home and overseas. What I strive for is understanding of those who are either risk-adverse or reckless, patience for the results we want to see, and perseverence as our healthcare professions try to get their messaging clear. May He who is supreme help our politicians, with a bit of assistance from all of us at a secure ballot box that is easy to use.

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  3. Thank you to everyone who got vaccinated. You put the health and safety of your family and society high enough on your importance list and went out and got vaccinated.

    This opening is only possible because enough people got vaccinated. These heros literally saved hundreds of thousands of lives while the anti vaxers were actively doing the opposite.

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  4. Life in the bubble that is Washington state. Live in fear. Ignore true science. I just saw that a Harvard epidemiologist got banned from Twitter for criticizing masks. And the devout followers of our new religion gleefully cheer. Our dictator of a governor has unnecessarily destroyed lives by not trusting the people he serves to make decisions about their own health, as free people are allowed. He has closed down our schools with not one piece of data to support. Not one. He has trapped us in masks with micron filtration levels that don’t stop the virus, but cut down our oxygen intake and force us to breathe our exhaust. He is violating the sacred right of doctor patient healthcare, while they figure out how to punish those who won’t get injected with something the FDA has not approved. If people want to congratulate themselves for taking the risk of being part of the human trials, go right ahead. But be honest about doing it to save yourself from something virtually no one under 65 with preexisting conditions will die from. The vaccines websites MUST be read and critical medical papers MUST be allowed to be printed. I’ve said it many times in these pages, I didn’t serve my country only to have my fellow citizens give away any of the rights I was willing to defend. Free speech is dead. The free practice of commerce is dead. The right to peaceably assemble for ALL is dead. The right to practice your religion is dead. Our children’s right to an education was taken away. I was fortunate to have no deaths from this very serious virus in my circle. I have limited contact with my elderly parents. I have received vaccinations when needed for foreign travel in multiple trips to Central America, South America and Asia.

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    1. Thank you for your service to our country, sincerely, and your continued pursuit of liberty for all.

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  5. I followed medical advice and got the flu vaccine two seasons ago when Covid was first emerging and a serious flu season was warned. I have followed the actions of other states and nations for a year and a half, while our dear leader has ignored them. I have searched out any medical writings I could find, not easy in these times of mass censorship. I have watched the six organizations who try to control what we are allowed to learn brainwash otherwise reasonable people and turn them into a dangerous, self righteous mob. The separation is here. The “marked” may not have tattooed numbers on their arms this time, but the intent is the same. The virus isn’t going to take us out and we will be around to deal with for a long time. We are still the majority and we’re not going to “calm down” while we lose control of our own lives and see so many being unnecessarily harmed by unscientific mandates, while even communist countries’ citizens enjoy freedoms we have given away. You have not saved me. Don’t lie to yourself. I treated this like a bad flu season, because that’s exactly the recommendation that would have been advised, had our safety been the goal. You are not saving the planet. Over 99% of the planet should be taking a hard look at the possible side effects of these mRNA devices, the rest may want to err on the side of caution and receive them. Speak with your doctor, not me or any other unqualified person who has absolutely no business forcing you to get vaccinated. We will all be clearly identifying ourselves in public soon, to the cheers of those who support absolute compliance to this new religion.

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  6. msn.com is now covering the lab-leak theory which was actively suppressed by the media. Chinese whistleblowers were coming forward, but it was somehow maligned as Asian-hate to not listen to them:
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/the-covid-lab-leak-hypothesis-just-got-a-big-credibility-boost/ar-BB1gKhzQ?ocid=msedgdhp

    There’s more information to the effect that Dr. Fauci, himself, was personally involved in the pandemic via funding and overturning research methods that were previously banned by President Obama.

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    1. Well. Matt, I recall reading and hearing about the “lab-leak theory” on BBc.com and The NewsHour. They did not suppress it. They did not go into the depth of the msn.com report but had the website’s main point. Okay, 18 scientists wrote a letter saying the same thing as the director of the WHO, more investigation is needed!
      In a recent Senate hearing Dr Fauci was quite pointed with Senator Rand Paul about the official records that debunk wild claims refering to Dr. Fauci. I am not sure if this is what you are talking about. As shown by the behavior of the senator, fomenting unsubstanciated and false claims endanger our ability to communicate constructively with each other.
      Just like believing a business deal is too good to be true because it is, a conpiracy theory may be too crazy to believe because it is. In both cases a healthy dose of skepticism is wise until proof is secured. Senator Paul did nothing but falsely accuse. At least the 18 scientists asked following a respectful format.

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      1. Michael. There are studies and patents on Gain of Function research from Wuhan. Some studies from Wuhan specifically cite NIH and Dr. Fauci and funding and grant. Dr. Fauci lobbied and overturned President Obama’s ban on Gain of Function research. The lab leak story was suppressed since people they were blaming it on bat soup. It literally was a conspiracy, with real whistleblowers who were disappeared. It’s highly probable that this escaped from a lab, and it would be naïve to assume China wouldn’t try to control the narrative or implications of that possibility.
        https://nypost.com/2020/04/01/whistleblowing-coronavirus-doctor-mysteriously-vanishes/

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  7. The lab leak theory was detailed in February of 2020. Gain of function was thoroughly explained then denounced as tin hat conspiracy, without an explanation as to how animal to human transmission occurred. Too many in our media have censored speech because they think they are serving society. It took me two hours to check my email in China. Protecting the masses from reality is a slow, laborious process.

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  8. Good. There really isn’t anything else to say. Hopefully we can all move on with our lives now. I noticed nearly everyone in Edmonds was still wearing masks (Even outdoors lol) and if that’s what people want to do go ahead and do it but don’t bother anyone who doesn’t. Canarino lost my business after they refuse allow vaccinated folks to not wear masks. Shout out to Red Twig and Market for not doing the same. I have a debilitating Fish Taco addiction.

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  9. Glen, I am not familiar with the NIH article you reference. If that was what Matt meant to use when accusing Dr. Fauci of complicity in some way with the development or spread of Covid 19, then I was unaware of it. I was referring to a recent Senate hearing which involved Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci in accusations, which I suppose are not those to do with the NIH artcle. It’s hard to keep track of all the accusations going around. And I must say you are a super spreader.
    The Edmonds news is a good example of freedom of information. You use it a lot so your ideas get an audience. As far as censorship goes, I don’t have a Chinese email and can’t imagine spending 2 hours getting on one. You are very tenacious. And in stating that I am retiring the Edmonds News comment feature. I thought it might be ineresting to share opinions with others in the community but you suck any pleasure out of the effort. You don’t even know the difference between a dictator and freely elected governor. Usuing the equivalence as a joke would be one thing, but you don’t seem to have a sense of humor. Life is too short. There is so much informative commentary out there. I purposely never joined Twitter or Facebook because they are a waste of time. Using that discretion I can ignore comments while still enjoying the articles in My Edmonds News. Good Luck in whatever is your purpose. I assume it is sincere.

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  10. We are at a point in history when some people just need to be honest about their beliefs being founded on whatever their media choice has mandated. There is nothing that can ever influence that and no chance of learning. For the rest, Dr. Fauci has been pushing gain of function and supporting the work of Dr. Baric, who is tied to the work at the Wuhan lab. Don’t believe me, there are plenty of articles in support, including the NIH article. It wasn’t about the NIH, it was by them. Dr. Paul was spot on and any media that won’t admit that are flat out misleading the people.

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    1. Glen, US history has a long history of examples of the same people who caused problems are lauded for fixing problems they caused. Look at Wall Street, the War on Terror. The origins of the problem are obfuscated by the people with the most upfront knowledge. Really? I certify aviation software for a living and saw some this effect on the MAX. An open letter from hundred of virologists (a small close community) was penned saying it was not possible that the virus escaped a lab. There is blood on Fauci’s hands, and he deserves the presumption of innocence in a military tribunal.

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