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Inslee calls unvaccinated people ‘targets’ for delta variant

Gov. Jay Inslee encouraged people to get vaccinated and said there are currently no plans to reinstate COVID-19 restrictions.

SKAMANIA COUNTY, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he is “very” concerned about the COVID-19 delta variant, now responsible for more than half of the country’s latest cases.

But Inslee said the state is not looking to reinstate any restrictions or mask mandates.

"There’s no reason to have to worry about that,” Inslee said. “If we get vaccinated we won’t have to worry about those options.”

Inslee said it’s disheartening to think about the more than a million people in the state who have chosen not to get the vaccine.

"The delta variant is chasing them. Those who do not have the vaccine today have targets on their backs,” he said.

Thursday afternoon, Inslee toured Mount St. Helens with Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," to raise awareness about the importance of outdoor education for children.

"It’s safe to have our young people understand the importance of following, understanding good science," said Inslee, "Not denying good science."

The state’s vaccine incentive lottery wraps up next Tuesday, July 13, with a $1 million jackpot giveaway.

When asked if the governor might extend the lottery to get more people vaccinated, he replied, “Get your vaccination in here before the drawing and you’re eligible. But you’re eligible for something more important, that you can sleep at night knowing you’re not endangering the people you love.”