U.S. Washington governor announces one-week extension of restrictions amid surging pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Governor of the U.S. state of Washington Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a one-week extension of the "Stay Safe-Stay Healthy" proclamation, along with the statewide restrictions on in-person gatherings and business activities due to the surging COVID-19 pandemic across the state.

The extension of the statewide restrictions will expire on Jan. 11, 2021. No changes were made in the proclamation aside from the expiration date, the announcement said.

"Our consistent mission has been keeping Washingtonians safe and ensuring health care system and hospital capacity," Inslee said.

"If we continue distancing from others, wearing facial coverings and avoiding social gatherings, we will make it to the other side of this pandemic together," he noted.

"Stay Safe-Stay Healthy" proclamation was renamed from the "Stay Home-Stay Healthy" proclamation.

In February, Inslee proclaimed a state of emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. He later issued a "Stay Home-Stay Healthy" order with several amendatory proclamations.

Inslee also announced a Safe Start plan that allows its economy to reopen in a phased approach in May and had to order a freeze on all counties moving forward to a subsequent reopening phase due to increased COVID-19 infection rates.

An updated reopening plan is currently being developed to provide a pathway for businesses and workers impacted by this order to reopen safely, according to the announcement. The updated plan will be released next week.

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