Submitted by the Office of Governor Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee today issued his Safe Start proclamation as the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is set to expire tonight at 11:59 PM.

The governor announced Safe Start — Washington’s Phased Reopening plan on Friday during a press conference where he detailed the county-by-county approach.

“Thanks to Washingtonians pulling together, we can transition fully to our county-by-county approach to safely reopen,” Inslee said. “If we remain diligent and committed to more effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to save lives and open up more businesses while protecting our friends and neighbors.”

Washington will move through the phased reopening county-by-county allowing for flexibility and local control to address COVID-19 activity geographically.

Effective June 1, counties may apply to John Wiesman, secretary of Washington State Department of Health, to advance phases. Applications will be evaluated by a county’s ability to meet target metrics and will be considered holistically in their readiness and ability to respond.

Under the plan, the secretary may approve a county’s request to move completely to the next phase, or may only approve certain activities in the next phase.

“We can’t think this means the virus has been defeated. It has not gone away,” Inslee said. “But while we prepare to take the next step forward toward a new normal, we need to continue to trust the science and maintain the same level of care today as we did three months ago.”

Read the full plan here.

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