Washington will fully reopen by June 30, maybe sooner depending on vaccinations

SPOKANE, Wash. — Today’s vaccine day couldn’t come at a better time. Late this afternoon, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Washington will re-open its economy at the end of June. Sooner if more people get vaccinated.

This is the biggest step forward from coming out of the pandemic we’ve seen in the more than a year now; Inslee announcing the state is on track for a full reopening by June 30.

Starting Tuesday, every county in the state will move to Phase 3, including the ones still in Phase 2. The state could fully reopen earlier if 70% of Washingtonians over the age of 16 get at least their first vaccine shot before then.

Right now, just over 57% of the state has had at least that first dose and more than 43% are fully vaccinated. That equals out to more than six million doses administered throughout the state, averaging 46,000 doses given a day.

The State of Emergency will not end on June 30, however. One metric that could change this progress is the ICU capacity. If the capacity reaches 90% at any point during the emergency, the state will rollback activities. Currently, Washington is sitting around 82%.

“It is a recognition that we are moving to a strategy based on vaccination as opposed to restrictions in our personal behavior. We have a vaccine that is safe, that works, that is absolutely free and we are now moving to full focus on that,” Inslee said.

The governor pointed out the state decided not to include children 12 to 15-years-old in the metrics because that age group just received approval for the vaccine so it would not have been fair to count them in this group too. He also said the state will be adapting CDC guidelines for mask wearing.

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