‘You might kill your grandparent’: Gov. Inslee urges Washingtonians to practice social distancing

Governor Jay Inslee stressed the importance of social distancing at a press conference on Friday, urging Washington employers to implement safety measures for their employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“It may be a while before we’re back to normal,” Inslee said, “but we can help everybody in this community get back to this position.” 

Inslee urged Washingtonians to stay home, pressing employers in the state to take action and make appropriate social distancing accommodations for those working in “essential” jobs. 

Specifially, he urged those above the age of 65 – who aren’t working jobs necessary to keep the public going – to stay home.   

Inslee referenced a graph breaking down social interaction percentages by county. 

In the Seattle area, Inslee said traffic is down 61%, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In Spokane, traffic is down roughly 20%. 

“This is not enough,” Inslee said. “The penalty is you might kill your grandparent,” he added, once again urging Washingtonians to stay inside. 

Inslee also talked about positive efforts being done in the state, mentioning Rep. Marcus Riccelli and Spokane Public Schools’ meal distribution efforts. 

In response to the Spokane Food Fighters’ efforts to distribute meals to families in need, Inslee said, “This is just one example of the amazing kindness and support in the state.” 

Lastly, Inslee addressed what officials are doing to fill a looming shortage of medical supplies in the state. 

According to Inslee, 1,600,000 respirators are being ordered to supply state hospitals, as well as an additional 560,000 surgical masks, 12 million disposable gloves, 650,000 disposable gowns, and 74,000 canisters of disinfectant- funding for all of which will come from the Federal stockpile. 

“I spoke to the Army Corps of Engineers today, and they are on-duty and ready to assist us in preparing both additional hospital units, but also helping to prepare for isolation facilities for people who are homeless and the like,” Inslee added. 

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