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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