Inslee removes COVID-related capacity limits at some cooling centers

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Ted S. Warren

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., before signing a bill into law that prohibits openly carrying guns and other weapons at the state Capitol and protests statewide.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday removed capacity limits at publicly owned or operated, non-profit cooling centers. 

“Beginning today, and persisting well into next week, meteorologists predict that temperatures will rise rapidly throughout the Pacific Northwest. Consequently, Washingtonians will be at high to very high risk of heat-related effects. In response, many local governments are mobilizing ‘cooling centers’ to protect people from the weather,” Inslee said. “I want to ensure that local jurisdictions have flexibility in options that can provide relief from the heat.”


This order allows capacity limitations to be adjusted or removed in order to serve more people at these cooling centers.

Those cooling centers that are eligible are created, administered or designed by a non-profit, state or local government agency, or an entity incorporated under the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act or analogous law from another jurisdiction.

This suspension does not apply to private, for-profit businesses that provide air-conditioned spaces to the general public.

The governor’s emergency mandates regarding capacity limits are still in place until June 30, or when the state reaches 70 percent vaccinated.

You can read Inslee’s official memo HERE.

LIST: Cooling centers across the Inland Northwest

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