Gov. Jay Inslee announced at a press conference today that statewide restrictions on dining, social gatherings, and gyms imposed Nov. 15 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be extended to Jan. 4.
The restrictions were previously set to expire next week.
“We still do not have a clear picture of the situation following the Thanksgiving weekend,” Inslee said.
Yesterday, Dec. 7, Washington state reported 184,404 COVID-19 cases and 2,941 deaths.
To support businesses, Inslee also announced that the state is making available $50 million in business grants. This grant opportunity follows Inslee’s Nov. 20 announcement of a $135 million economic relief package constituting $70 million for business support grants, $30 million for the recovery loan program, $20 million for rental assistance, and $15 million for low-income-household energy bills.
Washington State Department of Commerce director Lisa Brown noted that priority will be given to harder-hit small businesses like breweries, yoga studios, restaurants, and others.
“I realize this amount is not going to solve everyone’s problems associated with this pandemic,” Inslee said, adding that the state government will continue pursuing additional options.
Inslee also said that he plans on extending Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits past Dec. 25 if Congress does not act quickly on relief.
“It was the right thing to do in November, and will be the right thing to do in December,” Inslee said of the extension.
For more data on COVID-19 in Washington, head to the state’s coronavirus website.