OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee said while the data on social distancing has been encouraging, he affirmed that the current stay-at-home order will stay in place, and left open the possibility it could go beyond May 4
"If you look at the modeling, probably not, if you look at the rates of the (coronavirus infection) curve at the moment," he said.
Citing models by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, he said the data show that social distancing is working, but needs to continue.
"The rate is not going down at the moment. It’s plateaued. It’s level. That’s not as good as we need. Because it means we’ll continue to experience the number of fatalities we are having today," he said. "This model suggests we need to do more."
He also stated what would have to happen before the state's order is lifted.
He said the state can start the transition away from widespread social distancing measures after it's clear that stay-at-home efforts are successful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus and with new protocols in place to rapidly respond to and treat people who test positive for coronavirus.
"First our social distancing has to be successful enough that we drive down the number of infected people, where we can be confident that we are not going to have the curve start to rebound and go up again," he said.
"That sets the stage for the second stage of the effort which is the individualized effort where we test people rapidly, where we isolate them rapidly, where we treat them rapidly," he said.
He also said that there also needs to be contact tracing, so people that the patient has contacted in the past can be informed of the possible exposure.
He said there's a possibility for a phased-in easing up of the orders, as governors in Oregon and California have done.
Earlier this week, Inslee signed a pact with governors Kate Brown of Oregon and Gavin Newsom of California on how to reopen the western states.
Inslee said Wednesday that he has been working with certain industries about conditions for opening before the stay-home measures are lifted.
"In construction, we're working with the industry, to try to figure out how ... we can do it in the safest way possible," he said.
He said while the progress looks good, Washington state is not ready to transition away from the stay-at-home order.
"We ought to be confident in our efforts, we ought to be able to realize that we can control our own destiny, that we are not simply passive victims of this virus, there are things we can do to fight back successfully against it, but we have a lot more work to do until we get to this transition point," he said.
Watch the entire briefing here: