‘We’re going to be pretty close’: State’s progress to early reopening inches ahead

Jun 25, 2021, 10:12 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
Seattle, reopening...
People eat near Pike Place Market in Seattle. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As Washington approaches its scheduled June 30 reopening, it’s looking more and more unlikely that the state will hit the threshold needed to reopen prior to that date.

GOP leaders again call on Gov. Inslee to fully reopen Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee set the ground rules for a potential early reopening in May, requiring the state to have at least 70% of residents ages 16 and up receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. As of Thursday, that number currently sits at 68.1%

Meanwhile, Washington’s progress toward its 70% goal has slowed in recent weeks, inching forward roughly a tenth of a percent on a daily basis. That’s also in line with a similar trend nationally.

“We’re making progress — there’s no doubt about it,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said during a Thursday press conference. “But nationally speaking, there has been a slowdown of momentum when it comes to vaccines.”

Even so, Dr. Shah remains “hopeful” for Washington’s chances of reopening before June 30, while also expressing that it will likely come down to the wire if it happens at all.

“I’m actually optimistic, but I’m also watching the numbers,” he noted. “We’re going to be pretty close, but the question is whether we’re going to be able to hit it.”

GOP leaders again call on Gov. Inslee to fully reopen Washington

“I do think it’s going to be in the hands of all Washingtonians,” Shah added.

He also reported that the state’s vaccine lottery “is making a dent” in encouraging more people to get vaccinated.

Prizes include a weekly $250,000 cash giveaway, airline and sports tickets, gift cards, game systems, smart speakers, higher education tuition and expense assistance, and gift cards. That fact that eligibility is limited to those who have already been fully vaccinated has seen calls to the DOH hotline to set up appointments spike ever since the contest was first announced.

“It is helping,” Shah said.

Local News

Nate Connors

Weekend Traffic Report: NCAA March Madness comes to town

NCAA Women's Basketball is heading to Climate Pledge Arena Friday through Monday. Friday's game starts at 4:30 p.m.
1 day ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Starbucks CEO Narasimhan plans to ‘reinvent’ the company

Starbucks new CEO Laxman Narasimhan held his first shareholder meeting Thursday and offered proposals to reinvent the company.
1 day ago
(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Aurora borealis captured in night skies across Washington

Although the aurora was hidden behind clouds, parts of the region were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the display.
1 day ago
Frank Sumrall

10-month-old girl found after being abducted near Des Moines area

Washington State Patrol (WSP) searched and found a 10-month-old Gihanna Smith, who was allegedly abducted.
1 day ago
Frank Sumrall

Remo Borracchini, owner of beloved 100-year-old bakery, dies at 92

But, like many other local community establishments, Borracchini’s had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 day ago
seattle humane...
Nicole Jennings

Pet surrenders up at Seattle Humane, not likely to slow down

The number of pets being surrendered at Seattle Humane is on the rise. Many people can no longer afford to keep their dogs and cats.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
‘We’re going to be pretty close’: State’s progress to early reopening inches ahead