OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced he is extending current restrictions on businesses and social gatherings through Jan. 4 due to a continued spike in new coronavirus cases that is straining the state’s hospital system.
The current set of restrictions that took effect last month — including limiting restaurants and bars to to-go service and outdoor dining — were set to expire Dec. 14 but will now be extended an additional three weeks.
“What we do now literally will be a matter of life and death for many of our citizens,” Inslee said.
The Democratic governor said that while the impending arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine to the state is a reason to have hope, “at the moment, we have to face reality, and the reality is that we are suffering a very dire situation with the pandemic.”