Gov. Jay Inslee is extending his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order (aka shelter-in-place) another month. The earliest end to this mandate will be May 4.
"Unfortunately, we have yet to see the full weight of the virus in our state," Inslee said during a press conference. "This order is not only justified it is morally necessary."
Modeling data at the University of Washington has suggested an estimated peak of cases in the state will happen on April 11, according to Kathy Lofy with the Washington State Department of Health.
It's been barely over a week since Inslee announced the original shelter-in-place order on March 23. Since that announcement, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus have more than doubled. There will be more deaths, Inslee said, if "we do not continue our stalwart efforts."
There's a long way to go and it's possible that the order will be extended. Inslee said he's hopeful this "will be the conclusion" but "we will have more assurance the more commitment we have to this order."
There are a lot of factors that the state will look at to consider whether to lift the order; daily infection rates, fatality rates, hospitalization rate, social interactions as measured by traffic, and cell phone data, whether the warm weather is helping, and more.
"No one can guarantee" that May 4 will be the end, Inslee said.
Inslee acknowledged the ongoing economic impact on individuals and small businesses and touted the statewide eviction moratorium he passed. But many are concerned that that won't be enough. There's still no sign of a rent or mortgage suspension on Inslee's to-do list.
Other things touched on in the press conference: