OLYMPIA… Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, offered this statement following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement that all of Washington will move to a Phase 3 of 50% capacity on March 22. On March 4, Wilson and other Republican leaders in the Legislature had proposed their “Open Safe, Open Now” plan, which may have provided a model for the governor’s decision.
“This is good news, although I wish it had come sooner. Republicans have seen the COVID-19 numbers falling around our state, which is why we had called a week ago for moving to a Phase 3 that would allow 50% capacity, return to a county-by-county basis, and fully reopen our public schools. The governor has been catching up with the Republican position when it comes to schools, and I’m glad to see he’s now done the same about easing the business restrictions. Our restaurants and many others hadn’t been allowed 50% capacity since early November, so a lot of people have been waiting four months for this – and for some, it’s been far longer.
“I still believe the move to Phase 3 could and should be made immediately, instead of waiting another 10 days. I also had hoped the governor would match our plan and allow for a Phase 4 of 100% capacity after three weeks in Phase 3, provided hospital capacity is preserved. But the headline for now is that our counties and employers have a clearer path out of the limbo they’ve been in for weeks, and if Republican efforts helped get them there, great!”