Colorado, Nevada join Western States Pact with Washington, Oregon, California

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday announced that Colorado and Nevada have joined the Western States Pact.

Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom originally formed the Western States Pact on April 13 and agreed to a “shared vision” for modifying stay-at-home orders and controlling the coronavirus in the future.

Each state is working on its own individual plan, but the governors said they have agreed to create a framework based on the common understanding that residents’ health comes first, that decisions will be made on science -- not politics and that the states will only be effective by working together.

>> Related: 90-year-old Kirkland woman survives coronavirus, reunites with family

The governors said each state has made progress in flattening the curve in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and their attention must remain on controlling it going forward.

To do so, the governors said public health officials will focus on four main goals:

-- Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected.

-- Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19.

-- Mitigating the nondirect COVID-19 health impacts.

-- Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.

>> Related: Anglers protest order preventing them from fishing

"In Washington state, our decisions are guided by public health data and science and this is a principle we share up and down the West Coast,” Inslee said in a news release. “Governor Polis (Colorado) and Governor Sisolak (Nevada) are taking that approach as well, and the addition of their states will strengthen this regional partnership and save lives.

Statement from Polis:

“Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states. I’m thrilled Colorado is joining the Western States Pact. There’s no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, keep our people safe and help our economy rebound.”

Statement from Sisolak:

“I’m honored to have the state of Nevada join the Western States Pact and believe the sharing of critical information and best practices on how to mitigate the spread, protect the health and safety of our residents, and reopen responsibly will be invaluable as we chart our paths forward. Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback.”