Washington’s health care system, dental services can reopen under new guidelines

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation Monday to reopen the state’s health care system.

Non-urgent medical and dental care can resume assuming those services can comply with new health and safety protocols.

“We are glad we are able to take this first step right now,” Inslee said.

Public health officials will continue to monitor the state health care system’s ability to handle a potential COVID-19 onslaught, as well as PPE capacity for contact tracing and how those factors impact plans going forward.

Inslee said new guidance for services was developed through a team of medical professionals, including surgeons, pediatricians, nurses, dentists and hospital workers.

Under the plan, health care providers will be expected to have enough PPE for staff, practice social distancing measures and check patients for COVID-19 symptoms.

Over the past few weeks, Inslee has started lifting a variety of restrictions. Construction, some retail services and outdoor activities have all reopened.

More services will be allowed to resume under Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. Phase 2 will begin, at the earliest, on June 1. Inslee said Monday the decision to move into the next phase will come closer to the start of next month.