Spokane Co. Commissioners urge Gov. Inslee to reopen businesses early

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SPOKANE , Wash. — The Spokane County Board of Commissioners wrote Governor Inslee, urging him to immediately reopen certain businesses.

The letter acknowledges that, due to early measures like the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order, Spokane County avoided the unsettling predictions for high COVID-19 infection and death rates.

Thanks to Inslee and the Regional Health District, the commissioners say, the county has seen a steady average of five people testing positive for COVID-19 per day, in the last two weeks. There was, they concede, a double digit increase only two weeks ago, but generally the infection rate appears to be falling off.

“We strongly believe it is now time to begin our economic recovery. First, we request that you allow a regional approach to reopening Washington’s economy,” wrote the commissioners. “Spokane County has not seen the high infection and death rates as some other counties in our state and, therefore, should be allowed to reopen much sooner than counties that have been more heavily impacted.”

The commissioners say that after hearing from “stakeholders in private business, healthcare, and government,” that the wisest course of action would be to reopen important businesses, with the expected guidelines of social distancing and sanitation.

“Allowing this to happen would put tens of thousands of Washingtonians back to work,” wrote the commissioners, “thus improving the long-term outlook for our economy and overall health of our community.”