West Coast governors: Business will resume based on health data
The governors of Oregon, Washington and California have announced a three-state approach toward resuming public life and business once the Covid-19 pandemic abates.
The statement by Kate Brown, Jay Inslee and Gavin Newsom says that, while each state will develop its own plan, their actions will be based on health outcomes and science, not a timetable based on other reasons. It does not mention President Donald Trump, who has said he wants to reopen the national economy by May 1 — although states, not the federal government, have issued stay-at-home orders.
The statement issued Monday says in part:
"This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this."
All three states, plus 39 others, have issued orders for residents to stay at home unless they have a reason to be out such as obtaining groceries or medicines.
The three states have reported more than 35,000 cases, of a national total approaching 600,000, and almost 1,250 deaths.
The statement lays out four goals for control of the Covid-19 coronavirus linked to respiratory disease:
• Protect vulnerable people at risk for severe diseases, such as residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, if they are infected with the virus.
• Ensure that the health care system can care for those with the virus. Among the considerations: Surge capacity for hospitals and personal protective equipment for health care workers.
• Mitigate long-term health effects that are not directly linked to the virus on low-income and other populations.
• Set up a system for testing, tracking and isolating people who have the virus or who show symptoms. The statement says this last point is a requirement before the states start lifting restrictions.
The statement concludes: "Covid-19 doesn't follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what's happening on the ground."
The full statement is here.
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