Washington State Prevents Counties From Reopening As Coronavirus Cases Rise

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on Saturday that the state would prevent some of its counties from moving to the next phase of reopening, with the coronavirus showing signs of picking up speed.”The increase in cases across the state and concerns about the continued spread of the COVID virus have made phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at the moment,” in the order given by the state to Inslee and John Wiesman, Washington Secretary of Health.

Washington State takes a formal approach to reopening, allowing some countries to reopen before others. “Phase 4” of the state’s reopening plan would resume all recreational activities and allow gatherings of more than 50 people, according to the state’s plan. It would also allow people at high risk of serious illness to resume public interactions with physical remoteness.

A phase 4 county would also be allowed to reopen its night clubs, concert halls and major sporting events, according to the state plan. According to the order, eight of 39 state counties were ready to move on to phase 4.

Inslee joined a handful of other states on Tuesday demanding that people wear face covers while in public spaces.

Washington is one of 34 states in the US where coronavirus cases are increasing by 5% or more, based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

The state has reported an average of 465 additional new cases in the past seven days, an increase of nearly 34 percent from a week ago, according to Hopkins data.

Other states with a growing number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have either suspended or canceled some of their reopening plans.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Friday that the state would close its bars and reduce dining capacity inside its restaurants, among other modifications and closings, as cases and hospitalizations continued to climb.

Florida has also closed bars throughout the state. On Saturday, the state health department recorded its second consecutive day of record coronavirus cases.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Friday that the city will delay its reopening scheduled for Monday, which included nail salons, hair salons and outdoor bars, as the coronavirus shows signs of acceleration in California.

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