Gov. Inslee outlines three advisory groups to help reopen the state

OLYPMIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced three advisory groups aimed to help reopen the state during a COVID-19 response update.

Tuesday marked the beginning of Safe Start, Gov. Inslee’s phased approach at reopening the economy.

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Of the groups Inslee announced, the Public Health and Healthcare System group will focus on broadening the state’s testing efforts and preparing a plan to distribute COVID-19 treatments in the future.

“The members of these groups are in touch with their communities,” Inslee said.

“They’re going to help inform our decision making and provide a vehicle for input with our administration to focus people’s insights so we can make sure we get as much information as we can to guide our decision making to keep people safe,” he added.

The Safe Work and Economic Recovery group will ensure a safe plan for workers moving forward. It will prioritize science and the health of workers when making decisions on how to go about reopening businesses, Inslee said.

The third group will focus on social support with an emphasis on making sure the basic needs of Washingtonians are being met. This includes housing, health care, and access to food.

It will also prioritize the equity and inclusion of those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Washington.

“We know our vulnerable populations have always had stresses,” said Inslee, “And we want to do everything we can to minimize those in the face of this pandemic.

In terms of reopening, Inslee said each phase is expected to last about three weeks. However, if trends tick upwards or health officials believe it is unsafe, the state will not progress to the next phase.

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