OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee said in an address Tuesday that Washington state would not be able to lift many of its coronavirus restrictions by May 4.
"Some of you watching right now understandably want to know when" we'll get back to normal, Inslee said."
The governor said he's hopeful in the coming days that the state would be able to lift some restrictions on:
"Until we have a COVID-19 vaccine, workplaces are going to look much different ... ample psychical distance will be required."
Inslee said the state will provide guidance for businesses to know how and when to reopen.
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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee will speak Tuesday evening and detail a plan for Washington state’s recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.
There have been mounting calls for Inslee to ease the state’s stay-at-home order after a weekend protest drew about 2,500 to Olympia. The governor’s stay-home order runs through May 4.
This week the sheriff of a county in eastern Washington state told residents that he will not enforce Inslee’s directive or any guidelines “”that infringe on your constitutional rights.″
In response to the protest Sunday Inslee said he understood people’s frustrations but added “this is not the time to halt the progress we have made. I encourage everyone in our state to stay home, stay healthy and, if you need to go out, practice adequate physical distancing.”
Inslee’s Tuesday announcement on steps toward recovery is scheduled for 5 p.m.
WATCH LIVE at 5 p.m. Tuesday on Q13 FOX and Q13FOX.com.
More than 585,000 people in Washington sought unemployment benefits just last week, with 143,000 people filing claims for the first time as businesses remain closed or with limited operations due to the stay-at-home order.
Also, Boeing this week is restarting production of commercial airplanes in the Seattle area, putting about 27,000 people back to work after operations were halted because of the coronavirus. The company will have employees wear face masks and other protective equipment.
Meanwhile Franklin County Sheriff J.D. Raymond sent a letter to constituents on Monday in which he said he does believe the coronavirus pandemic is real and “needs to be dealt with appropriately.”
“I believe that social distancing and taking appropriate and proper steps to slow the spread of the virus and control its transmission is important,” Raymond said.
But Raymond, who has been sheriff for six years in the county of about 95,000 people whose biggest city is Pasco, also said he believes that adults are capable of policing themselves and “we have the capability of adjusting our habits to these trying times.”
Sheriffs in Michigan and Wisconsin have also said they won’t enforce social-distancing mandates.
“This intrudes on our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and neither I nor my office will enforce any arrests or fines regarding the operation of privately owned businesses,” Raymond said.
As of Sunday, Franklin County reported 198 cases of COVID-19 with four deaths. The Seattle area saw the nation’s first large COVID-19 outbreak, and so far more has more than 12,000 confirmed cases and at least 652 deaths.