The governors of Washington, California and Oregon announced Monday they’ll work together to re-open their economies while continuing to control the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the partnership with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. While each state is building a state-specific plan, the three states have agreed to a framework that focuses on them working together, putting their residents’ health first, and letting science guide decisions.
“COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness,” the three governors wrote. “In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.”
The Seattle-area saw the nation’s first COVID-19 outbreak, with dozens of deaths tied to a suburban nursing home. California, too, saw an early outbreak and the San Francisco-area was the first major region to impose stringent stay-at-home policies.
The governors said that while each state has made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 each state’s public health leaders will focus on four goals: Protecting vulnerable populations — such as those in nursing homes — who are at risk if infected; ensuring adequate hospital capacity and personal protective equipment in order to care for those who may get sick; mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities; and protecting the general public “by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.”