Inslee agrees on ‘shared vision’ with Oregon, California for reopening economies

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee announced an agreement on Monday with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on a “shared vision” for reopening their economies and controlling the coronavirus in the future.

In a joint statement, the governors said they will work together on a shared approach in the coming weeks “to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.”

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.

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“We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this,” the governors said.

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.

“COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground,” the governors said.