Gov. Inslee says stay home order will be extended past May 4

governor jay inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that the stay home, stay healthy order will remain in place past May 4.

Inslee did not provide specifics on a date when it will be lifted, but said more information about the state’s reopening will be available later this week. He said the decision to extend the order was made by following science and data.

“Let’s just do this once and get it over with,” Inslee said, referring to the potential resurgence of the virus should restrictions be lifted too early.

Inslee said the state is following specific metrics to help guide the decision on reopening. The first metric the state will look at is case per day based on date of onset. That number has gone down quite a bit, but needs to go down more, Inslee said. The second metric is deaths per day by date of illness onset. That number has plummeted, as well.

The state is also looking at hospitalization by date of first admission. That number peaked before April in Washington, but Inslee said it has not gone down enough. Cases of hospitalization by illness onset also peaked in April.

Inslee said the state is also monitoring the capacity of the health care system across the state. Data shows the state has plenty of beds and ventilators to handle a surge.

The governor said he wants the state to be disciplined now, rather than take erratic steps and have to pause the reopening of the state’s businesses and economy again.

Inslee took Wednesday’s press conference to reiterate the state’s need for testing. The purpose of increased testing is understand where the virus is and contact tracing helps track its spread.

RELATED: Contact tracing will be key factor in reopening U.S. economy

Inslee also announced Wednesday that some elective surgeries will be allowed to resume. This decision follows similar moves made by Oregon and California; which are both part of the Western States Pact.

This is the latest move in demonstrating the state will reopen in phases. Construction has already resumed and recreational activities are set to resume on May 5.

“If we stop our efforts today, we’re going to see a lot more people die in Washington in the not-so-distant future,” Inslee said.

Next steps of the state’s reopening will be available on Friday.

READ: Elected officials in eastern Washington pushing for ‘slow reopening’ of economy

READ: Gov. could extend stay-at-home order later this week