Without additional action, experts warn Washington could be in a “Florida-like condition” for COVID-19 spread

Experts warn Washington could be in a “Florida-like condition” if the state doesn’t take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The warning came during a Thursday press conference where Gov. Jay Inslee introduced a series of new restrictions on restaurants, bars, weddings, and fitness centers.

 

 

A recent situation report from the Institute for Disease Modeling described Washington as being in an “explosive situation” for COVID-19 transmission. In all areas of the state except Yakima, indicators of viral spread are increasing.

“Unfortunately, we know this: the rate of transmission has been increasing around the state. Our suppression of this virus is not at the level it needs to be to continue to … allow more activity. If we let the virus get even more control it will have even more devastating impact over the long term in our economy and certainly in our health and the very lives of our loved ones,” said Inslee during the press conference.

“This situation has been described by some of our experts as being sort of where Florida was several weeks ago. And as we know, Florida now has many hospitals with no more ICU capacity and we are in a position that possibly could result in a Florida-like condition if we do not act.”

Inslee says the new restrictions and the expansion of his mask order will hopefully pay dividends in the coming weeks and steer Washington away from a Florida-like situation. Florida is now considered the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. In recent days, the state has average over 10,000 new positive cases per day.

“Because we face an outcome like Florida’s, we just can’t wait. Because once the pandemic gets to a certain level, it’s out of control and it’s just too late. You can’t reel it back in. So, that’s why we had to take these steps now,” said Inslee.