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Gov. Inslee extends current COVID-19 restrictions until January 4

Derek Wang / Northwest News Network
Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee preparing for a news conference broadcast by TVW on December 8, in which he announced an extension of COVID-19 restrictions.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that he would be extending Covid restrictions already in place until January 4, which prohibit most non-essential indoor gathering.

Inslee said the restrictions were extended for three more weeks due to continued concerns over Covid activity, and an unclear picture following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Inslee’s announcement comes after a continued climb in COVID-19 cases during November, and before December holidays in which families would typically gather.

The Washington State Department of Health has reported 184,404 total cases and 2,941 total deaths, as the result of coronavirus, as of Monday, Dec. 7.

Hospitalizations are on the rise, Inslee said. About 80 percent of intensive care unit beds are occupied in the state.

Inslee also announced an additional $50 million in grants for businesses, those hit hard by restrictions. The package is on top of the $135 million dollars in economic relief that Inslee announced two week prior.

“We know this will not eliminate all of the economic suffering that people are experiencing, and we’re continuing to push Congress as hard as we can for the ultimate source of relief,” Inslee said.

Small businesses impacted by current restrictions will be prioritized in this round of funding, said Lisa Brown, director of the Department of Commerce.

Inslee will work with legislators early in the next session, to consider additional help, he said.