OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — There are no immediate plans in Washington state to enact more stringent social distancing requirements to fight the spread of coronavirus like those imposed by California, New York and other states, Gov. Jay Inslee’s chief of staff said Friday.
“We don’t feel it’s necessary to take that next step today,” David Postman told reporters.
Washington has reported at least 74 deaths from COVID-19, the most in the United States, and more than 1,300 confirmed cases.
The state has already closed schools through the late April, banned events and ordered bars to close and restaurants to serve only take out or drivethru options.
States like California, New York and Illinois have issued orders that would require most residents to remain in their homes except for things like buying groceries and solitary excercise.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more
On Friday, Washington Inslee sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for him to declare a major disaster in the state. Such a declaration would enable additional federal assistance to residents affected by COVID-19. Those benefits include expanded unemployment assistance and basic food benefits.
“The state urgently requires additional supplemental federal emergency assistance in order to save lives, protect public health and safety, and limit further spread of the disease,” Inslee wrote.