Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee has announced a three-week extension of the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions which will now be in place until January 4, 2021. Inslee also announced additional economic supports for workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-week extension of statewide restrictions come as the state’s healthcare system nears dangerous occupancy levels. With the effects of Thanksgiving on infection and hospital numbers still unknown, the extension will grant the state’s medical system much needed time to increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity before it’s overwhelmed.
“What we do between now — when COVID activity is still at crisis levels — and the time when vaccines are widely available, is literally a matter of life and death,” Inslee said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Inslee was joined by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown who announced an additional $50 million, doubling the number of Washington small businesses that will receive aid. Industries recently shut down, such as restaurants and fitness centers, as well as businesses that have been devastatingly impacted throughout the pandemic, like music and event venues, have been prioritized.
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