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Despite continued rise in cases, Washington not yet rolling back reopening — UPDATE: Inslee address Thursday night

UPDATE 11/12/2020 7:00 PM: In a seven minute address on the “third wave” of pandemic in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee joined with wife Trudi Inslee in asking the state’s citizens not to gather with family and friends at Thanksgiving celebrations. Video of the full address is above. Inslee said announcements on “further measures” will be made in coming days. Thursday, King County reported 622 new positive COVID-19 cases — 47% above the seven-day average — along with what appears to be a growing count of new hospitalizations and deaths. In its latest report, the county marked 19 new hospitalizations — it has been averaging 12 this week. Its average of one death a day will also rise. In its most recent report posted Thursday, the county recorded 10 deaths.

ORIGINAL REPORT: The West Coast is rolling back its reopening but Washington, so far, remains focused on Maskgiving.

“The safest Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving celebrated within your immediate household,” Lacy Fehrenbach, the state’s Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19 Response said Tuesday in a briefing with officials seen as one final attempts at buying time before Washington joins Oregon and California in restoring limits on businesses including bars and restaurants and restricting social gathering.

CHS reported here on worries about a continued rise in the spread of the virus and worries that the Thanksgiving holiday would power further increases as people gathered with groups of friends and loved ones.

Tuesday, officials said people should plan to spend Thanksgiving alone or with members of their household. Any gathering should be brief and, preferably, outside. Those planning to be with family and friends should consider quarantining for the weeks leading up to the holiday, one official said.

In Oregon and California, meanwhile, the states have already begun restoring and adding new restrictions to try to slow the spread of the virus before health systems are again overloaded and people who would not be at risk of hospitalization end up needing care because of a lack of assistance and resources. If nothing else, the restrictions should help remind people to take the situation more seriously.

In Washington, for now, there are only the warnings that cases in both the east and the west of the state are rapidly rising.

David Postman, spokesperson for Jay Inslee’s office, said the governor has focused the state’s recent response on reopening and individual responsibility. “It wouldn’t be necessary if people are able to do the other things they can do right now on their own,” Postman said of rolling back the state’s reopening efforts.

But other officials on the call said it appears only to be a matter of time before new restrictions are recommended. In King County, the average of new positive cases has now reached 400 a day.

UPDATE 11/12/2020 8:55 AM: Governor Inslee has scheduled a “public address on COVID-19” for Thursday night:

ADVISORY: Inslee public address on COVID-19 Thursday evening

Gov. Jay Inslee and Trudi Inslee will directly address Washingtonians this evening with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Thursday, November 12

5:30 PM – Public address on COVID-19
TVW will livestream the address.

**NOTICE: The governor and Trudi Inslee will not take questions from the media after the address. This is an opportunity for the governor to directly address Washingtonians to give the latest updates on the state’s response to COVID-19.


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caphiller
caphiller
12 days ago

“plan to spend thanksgiving alone”. this is monstrous advice. the monomaniacal focus on covid risk is forcing people, especially those who live alone, into loneliness and depression far worse than the illness most would suffer from covid.

d4l3d
d4l3d
11 days ago
Reply to  caphiller

I’m an at risk elder living alone through depression and I maintain if you knew any of us who’ve had experience with the illness you’d realize how foolish and irresponsible your conclusion is. Yours is not a statement of compassion but an open invitation to grief and misery.

John Whittier Treat
John Whittier Treat
11 days ago
Reply to  d4l3d

This 67 year-old agrees with you 100%.

doug
doug
11 days ago
Reply to  d4l3d

I don’t caphiller was talking about compassion, but rather of balance. COVID is not the only problem in the world, despite the myopic focus of our leaders. Millions of children are going without vaccinations around the world so you have less risk in the twilight of your life. You think that’s reasonable. I think it’s selfish.

It’s not the government’s job to remove all risk from life. Life has all sorts of risks. The biggest risk of course is wasted time, because for all sorts of reasons many don’t live long enough to become “at risk elders”

And you have to ask yourself, why are politicians so focused on COVID. When it’s clear almost 50% of people don’t agree with the extent of the measures taken to reduce risk.You do have to consider the possibility that leaders, around the world, are not acting in the best interests of their people, but rather the best interest of themselves. Using a crisis to exert social control.

.

Emily
Emily
11 days ago
Reply to  doug

The issue with COVID that leaders cannot ignore is the capacity of hospitals to care for patients. Allowing COVID to spiral out of control, as the US has done, has drastically impacted our healthcare system, causing delays in treatment for potentially lifesaving care for other patients. Outpatient facilities had to close down, non-emergent surgeries were cancelled or delayed, potentially lifesaving screenings such as routine mammograms and prostate exams were also cancelled/delayed because of the lack of capacity. In some states, patients have even been turned away from receiving care because there are no available hospital beds for them.

This isn’t a matter of exerting social control, it’s a very real public health crisis for the entire country, not just for COVID patients.

MarciaX
MarciaX
10 days ago
Reply to  doug

“Social control” is a red herring. I fail to see how a lockdown serves the “best interest” of the leader imposing it. On the contrary, it’s a politically costly move, one that too many officials (including our own governor) are shying away from. But it’s the right one.

CapHillster
CapHillster
11 days ago
Reply to  caphiller

I live alone and have been diagnosed with depression during covid.

I’d still rather hang out over Zoom (or go for a walk the next day with friends) than get myself and other people sick… or worse.

caphiller
caphiller
11 days ago
Reply to  CapHillster

Thank you all. Clearly this is a very controversial topic. Indeed, what I mean is balancing risks and all aspects of public health, not optimizing for covid prevention against all else. I too live alone and have suffered from depression during this period of isolation. It has been a huge source of help to me to spend time with a small group of trusted friends, to meet friends for walks, to attend masked and outdoor services at my church, etc. For everyone to spend time only within your immediate household or alone for months on end is not good for the health of ourselves or our society because it doesn’t account for the downstream impacts – the depression, the missed vaccinations, the missed cancer screenings, etc. Everyone has a different perception of the various risks. But let’s not shame people who might want to spend the holidays with a few loved ones.

RWK
RWK
9 days ago
Reply to  caphiller

The things you are doing to mitigate depression are great, and argue against your claims that people must remain isolated during the pandemic. It’s not easy, but there are things each individual can do and still be within the guidelines set up by Governor Inslee and the Public Health experts.

And, by the way, although routine medical care (vaccinations, etc) was limited during the early days of the pandemic, that is no longer the case.

Nick
Nick
11 days ago

Cool cool, leave all of the bars open but tell people who live alone not to see a single other person.

MarciaX
MarciaX
10 days ago

Allowing indoor dining and drinking to resume before the virus was under control is the one big mistake Democratic governors have made nationwide. Now in the face of record high infection rates, Oregon’s governor has wisely reversed course, while Inslee calls a press conference just to announce that he’s changing nothing. As someone who’s been supportive of Inslee in the past, I’m very disappointed.