What’s Your Why for Staying Home?
On May 1, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee extended Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through the end of May to minimize the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). He also shared his Safe Start Washington plan to safely resume recreational, social and business activities in phases. Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and movement to the next phase will depend on different data sources to assess the impact of the disease in communities.
Progression through these phases will depend on all of us continuing to practice physical distancing, mask use and healthy hygiene habits. These strategies have helped flatten the curve of new cases in Washington and we want to see the trend continue. The phases begin on May 5 and include the milestones below.
Phase one will reopen some recreational activities, including day use at state parks, golf, fishing and hunting.
Phase two will allow small gatherings of five or fewer people, new construction, and reopening of barber shops, salons and pet care services.
Phase three will allow gatherings of up to 50 people, including sports activities and non-essential travel can resume.
Phase four will involve resuming most public interactions. Gatherings of more than 50 people will be allowed, but, until a vaccine is available, we will still need to stay at least six feet away from other people.
The Washington Phased Approach table has a complete list of reopening activities at each phase.
In a time where we all are feeling quarantine-fatigue and anxiousness for life to get back to normal, it is important to reflect on why our collective sacrifices, in staying home, are so important in the COVID-19 battle. We are protecting the elderly and medically fragile populations from a life-threatening illness, but also younger populations who are critically ill and require two to three weeks of hospital care. In recovery, many of these patients suffer from long-term disability or post-traumatic stress disorder. We are protecting health care workers who can quickly become overwhelmed treating critically ill COVID-19 patients. Treatment can be time-consuming and complicated, requiring specialized equipment and limited personalized protective equipment. We are also protecting our community from a second wave of infections that could prolong our ability to reopen the economy and resume normal activities.
We all have reasons for staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. By staying home, we are protecting friends, loved ones and even those we do not know. We can all help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and support each other in our efforts by sharing who (or what) we are staying home for on the #InlandStrong sign (example: an elderly neighbor, your children, a friend with cancer, an essential worker or to swing at the park again!).
Inland COVID-19 Response is asking you to show your support by sharing your why with the world and posting one of these blue signs in a window, at your home or place of business, as a symbol of unity.