OLYMPIA — In an April 2 press conference, Gov. Jay Inslee extended his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” executive order until May 4.
The new order came about four days before the governor's previous order was scheduled to end on April 6. At the time of the press conference, the number of confirmed covid-19 deaths in Washington was estimated to be 265, with 6,585 confirmed cases, according to the state Health Department.
As of April 2, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in Pacific County. Health professionals in the county have conducted at least 50 tests so far.
Inslee called the effort to fight the covid-19 pandemic in Washington robust, but said there was "an obligation to ourselves and to our loved ones to recognize this is a hard road ahead of us.”
Even with strong restrictions in place, modeling from the University of Washington estimates there will be at least 1,000 virus-related deaths in Washington. State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said the model’s best estimates show that the virus will peak on or around April 11. Inslee called the decision to extend the order a moral one.
“We will not accept unnecessary deaths in our state,” Inslee said. He added that it is possible the order will be extended even longer, but it partly depends on how well people follow social distancing guidelines.
The state is having discussions about the next steps to take in determining when, and if, the school year resumes, Inslee said at the press conference. He had previously order all schools in the state to close through April 24.
Inslee also reiterated that it is still OK for people to go outside and get fresh air to remain healthy. However, he stressed that social distancing cannot be ignored just because you are outside.
“We should not pull defeat from the jaws of victory,” Inslee said.