Governor Inslee Speaks on Strategy for Reopening Washington

Stoel Rives - World of Employment
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Stoel Rives - World of Employment

On April 21, Washington’s Governor Inslee remarked that the eventual reopening of Washington will “look more like turning a dial than flipping a switch.” But the timing of that dial turning is still unknown. Governor Inslee did not comment on whether his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order will be lifted on its current end date of May 4 or whether that order will be extended.

According to Governor Inslee, the reopening of the State will occur in measured steps, guided by science. Before reopening, he commented, the infection rate needs to continue to decrease and testing capacity needs to dramatically increase. The Governor anticipates having 1,500 workers performing contact tracing by the second week of May, but the State is still lacking sufficient test kits.

The Governor indicated that some restrictions, such as those involving elective surgeries, may be eased, and the State will be providing guidance to businesses on how to reopen safely. The first such guidance was issued on April 24: Phase 1 Construction Restart, which allows existing construction projects to restart if the contractor develops a COVID-19 Safety Plan and implements detailed requirements regarding social distancing, safety training, personal protective equipment, sanitation and hygiene, and monitoring of employees’ health. Those COVID-19 Job Site Requirements can be viewed here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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