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Governor Inslee Extends Lock-Down in Washington
Will now be in place until January

Governor of Washington Jay Inslee today announced additional money to be spent by the state for workers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Inslee also announced a three-week extension of the state’s current restrictions which will now be in place until January 4, 2021.

Washington has distributed billions of dollars in federal and state funds to help all of the state’s industries and workers impacted by this lock-down. Inslee was joined by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown who announced an additional $50 million to be spent. Industries recently shut down, such as restaurants and fitness centers, as well as businesses that have been devastatingly impacted throughout the lock-down, like music and event venues, have been prioritized.

“The needs among our small businesses are profound, and speed is of the essence,” Brown said. “This additional funding allows us to double the number of small businesses we can provide aid to, but we know it’s not enough."

Unemployment Insurance

In addition, Inslee also announced the state’s readiness to step in in the case of congressional failure to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funding in the CARES Act by the end of the year. Washington will be able to fill some of the funding gap for residents that aren’t eligible for regular UI, such as self-employed workers, freelancers and independent contractors.

“Whether it is through federal or state aid, if Congress fails to act by Christmas, we will step up to help workers and their families who are not covered by pre-pandemic unemployment insurance benefits,” Inslee said.

Restriction extension The three-week extension of statewide restrictions come as the the effects of Thanksgiving on infection and hospital numbers are still unknown. Although that is unknown, this extension is meant to grant the state’s medical system extra time to increase Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity.

We need people to mask up, stay home as much as possible and delay gatherings with anyone outside your home.” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

Currently, nearly 80% of ICU beds in Washington are currently occupied, with around 1,000 residents in those units.

“They’re not all COVID patients taking up the ICU beds, which is very important to remember.” Inslee said. “We are all... in this together.”


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-12-08 18:01:16Last Update: 2020-12-08 18:26:30



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