OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington is set to reopen fully on June 30, or when the percentage of residents age 16 and older who have initiated vaccination reaches 70%, whichever comes first.
The Washington State Department of Health said on Thursday that 63% of eligible adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said he hopes the new incentives Gov. Inslee announced on Thursday will help push the state closer to the 70% reopening goal.
However, when asked about what will happen if the state does NOT reach 70% by June 30, Gov. Inslee said Washington will reopen anyway.
“We would still plan to open on June 30th, and the more people that get vaccinated, the better shot we have at that,” Inslee said.
Inslee said in mid-May that most indoor activities will remain at 50% capacity until June 30, at which time restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and the vast majority of public spaces will be able to return to full capacity.
Just this week, T-Mobile Park announced it will expand capacity during Mariners games starting June 14 to 31,000 fans. The stadium said it would fully open on June 30.
Fully reopening does not mean the end of the state of emergency because the emergency created by the pandemic continues, according to the governor, who says the virus is not done with us yet.
State Republican leaders have been pushing Gov. Inslee to fully reopen before June 30.
House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released a statement on Tuesday, calling for Inslee to reopen the state immediately and not wait another month.
Washington’s seven-day average of vaccine doses given and reported per day is 33,160. If it continues at that pace, the state could reach the 70% target by mid-to-late June. To help get there, the state has launched a mobile vaccine clinic.
The new “Care-a-Van” mobile vaccine clinic will bring vaccines directly to people, especially homebound seniors, communities of color, and proportionately under-vaccinated or over-burdened communities.
©2021 Cox Media Group