Gov. Inslee hopeful state could reach turning point in pandemic ‘in relatively near term’

Jan 30, 2022, 8:07 AM | Updated: Jan 31, 2022, 9:56 am

Omicron King County, Inslee...

People walking through downtown Seattle. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

With COVID-19 cases beginning to decline in parts of Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee expressed optimism regarding the state’s status in the near future.

King County COVID cases finally trending down, but ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’

Most counties in Western Washington have reported waning case numbers for most of the last week. In King County, the seven-day daily average has dipped 29% in the one week period ending on Jan. 27, while hospitalizations have dropped by 20%.

Speaking during a Thursday press conference, Gov. Inslee pointed to other countries that dealt with omicron-fueled surges prior to the variant’s arrival in Washington, most of which experienced a rapid decline weeks later.

“We are hopeful that we will see a plateauing and, soon, hopefully a decline of these cases across the state of Washington,” he said. “The latest modeling suggests that may have already occurred in Western Washington.”

He went on to describe how he feels optimistic that the presence of the more infectious but less severe variant strain could be a precursor to a shift in Washington’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think in the relatively near term, we may be in a place to have a much more normal endemic approach to what will be with us for a long period of time, and I’m looking forward to that day,” Inslee said.

New mass COVID vaccination site opens in Snohomish County

That echoes recent sentiments out of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which predicted that “the era of major restrictions is coming to an end.”

That said, Inslee also clarified that even when Washington does arrive in a place where it can relax its COVID safety measures, vaccinations will still be a critical piece of ensuring the state doesn’t backslide.

“I can tell you this: When that day comes, it will still be really healthy for people to get the vaccination — I just cannot stress this enough,” Gov. Inslee said. “The people who are dying today in our hospitals, they’re dying because they were not vaccinated, and the evidence continues to mount for the importance of (the vaccine) and the efficacy of it.”

Local News

gas stovetops...

Heather Bosch

WA Rep. maintains fervent push to keep gas stovetops unregulated

U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse introduced a bill on Monday to block the new Department of Energy conservation standards for gas stovetops.

1 day ago

missing girl Cle Elum river...

KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Missing 10-year-old girl found alive near Cle Elum River

A 10-year-old girl who was missing near the Cle Elum River for nearly 30 hours was found alive Monday afternoon.

1 day ago

Caleb Heimlich...

Bill Kaczaraba

WA State Republican chair Caleb Heimlich stepping down

The chair of the Washington state Republican party, Caleb Heimlich, is stepping down effective August 12th.

1 day ago

Garfield High...

Frank Sumrall

Garfield HS the focus of school safety precautions following nearby violence

Garfield High School and Nova High School both had its students return on campus in person Monday after locking down the campus last week.

1 day ago

Burien encampment moved park...

Sam Campbell

Burien encampment moved again, now located at city park

A homeless encampment in downtown Burien is being cleared after a struggle between the city, county, and residents who want it gone.

1 day ago

Great Seattle Fire...

Ted Buehner

Could ‘Great Seattle Fire’ happen again with current warm streak?

Tuesday, June 6 marks the date of the tragic 1889 Great Seattle Fire that burned 25 blocks of downtown waterfront Seattle.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

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.

Gov. Inslee hopeful state could reach turning point in pandemic ‘in relatively near term’