by Emerald Staff
At 5 pm on April 2, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he would extend his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order another month until at least May 4.
Striking a somber tone, Inslee said, the action to extend the mandate,”is not only justified but is morally right. We shall never flag or fail in our endeavor […] to save lives of Washingtonians.”
“May 4 is the soonest that we could possibly achieve our ends to keep our loved ones safe,” he said.
Inslee originally issued his stay-at-home order on March 23, which was set to expire by the end of this week.
The stay-at-home order allows people to leave their homes for vital errands and to go outside, for activities such as walks and gardening. But people must maintain a safe social distance from others. Only essential businesses may remain open to the public.
He said that current models by epidemiologists at the University of Washington predict more than 1000 deaths in the state, should we continue our current efforts. But those estimates will be higher if the mandate ends prematurely.
“The science is clear: more people will die if we stop now,” he said.
Inslee also spoke about a moratorium on rent evictions, mortgage forbearance, ratepayer assistance and other programs to help everyone get through this ordeal.
“The fastest way to economic recovery is for a recovery of our health, which is fundamental to all we hold dear,” he said.
The Washington State Department of Health reported 262 deaths from coronavirus statewide as of today, among 6,585 total cases.
King County remains the county hit hardest, with deaths at 175 among 2,609 cases county-wide.
The governor went on to say that he might possibly extend his mandate again, but his hope is that Washingtonians will continue to stay home and help everyone get through this storm as soon as possible.
Inslee touted the local expertise on research and modeling on many levels and said that the data points will determine when his order can be lifted.
“We have the power to use our heads to maintain our social distance,” he said.