Snohomish County leaders doubt June 1 reopenings will happen

Snohomish County leaders doubt June 1 reopenings will happen

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — County leaders expressed doubt that shops and restaurants would be allowed to reopen June 1.

“Things continue to get better, but we’re still not there,” said Dr. Chris Spitters of Snohomish County Health District.

As part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s requirements, Spitters said there must be fewer than 82 new coronavirus cases every two weeks.

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Yet, since May 7, he said it’s been quadruple that number, with 308 new cases.

“It’s all a work in progress,” Spitters said. “The plane is flying down the runway, and we’re still putting it together.”

Spitters added that testing is also an issue.

In order to reopen, he said Snohomish County would need to nearly double its testing capabilities.

At Martha Lake in Lynnwood, the possible delay in reopening didn’t seem to bother Ahmad Alkabar.

Even on a damp day, he insisted that the key to staying sane is to simply get out of the house.

“Bars, movie theaters, books, gyms — everything is shut down, so this is the minimum we could do now,” Alkabar told KIRO 7 News.

Alkabar’s days of enjoying the outdoors could last a while longer.

That’s because health care workers said a full reopening for all businesses is likely months away.

“I don’t know if we’ll be (in full opening) in September, or August or October, but there’s a chance we’ll have to turn up the dial on some form of social distancing,” said Spitters.

The governor has the final say if Snohomish County can reopen June 1.

Sometime this next week, he’s expected to make a final decision on the reopening process.