Western States Forge Pact to Manage Restart of Economy
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced Monday that they’ve come to an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 in the future.
In a joint statement, Govs. Gavin Newsom, Kate Brown and Jay Inslee, said the coronavirus outbreak had “preyed upon” the interconnectedness of the region.
“In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 — with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities,” they said.
As they move forward in reopening their economies, the governors agreed to work jointly, based on “clear indicators” for communities to restart public life and business.
While each state is building a state-specific plan, they will jointly follow these principles:
- Their residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
- Health outcomes and science — not politics — will guide these decisions. Modifications to stay at home orders must be made based on an understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including the health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions.
- Each state will work with its local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to the agreed upon approach.
“Through quick and decisive action, each of our states has made significant progress in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 among the broader public,” the governors said.
Going forward, they said their staffs and public health officials will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future:
- Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.
- Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
- Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.
“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 to carry out this regional pact to recovery,” the governors said.
In The News
NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out a data-driven plan on Monday for reopening New York schools that hinges on consistently dropping coronavirus infection rates, mandates for face mask usage in classrooms and daily screenings of staff and students. First off, schools can only resume... Read More
Five states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit this week that accuses the U.S. Education Department of shorting schools in low-income areas on their fair share of coronavirus relief funds. Instead, too much of the money is going to private and wealthy school districts... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — The demand for mail-in ballots is surging. Election workers need training. And polling booths might have to be outfitted with protective shields during the COVID-19 pandemic. As officials prepare for the Nov. 3 election, one certainty is clear: It's coming with a big price tag.... Read More
CHICAGO — After missing out on cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown, the Chicago area just suffered its longest streak of high-pollution days in more than a decade. Nine consecutive days of bad air swept through the region amid an emerging scientific link between exposure to... Read More
SEATTLE — Just before two teenagers were shot at the Capitol Hill Organized Protest in the early morning hours of June 29, the scene outside the closed Seattle police East Precinct was one of confused chaos. People ran. They yelled. There were unconfirmed reports of multiple... Read More
RALEIGH, N.C. — This spring when North Carolina state lawmakers were debating a bill making it easier for people to vote by mail in November because of coronavirus, they also added in an unrelated provision about photo IDs. Now, Republican legislative leaders say that because that... Read More