Washington state, last night, reached over 2,500 confirmed cases of the virus and 132deaths. The state is struggling to keep up with demands for equipment critically needed to deal with the virus. "Today we are in a mad scramble, frankly, with 50 states competing against one another for crucial supplies." Inslee says. Measures taken by the state, such as the "Stay Home" order, have slowed the rate of increase of the infection in select counties. Though the curve hasn't flattened and graphs continue to show increase, there is a "slight reduction in the rate" of infection. The reduction may be small, but it gives hope that the measures taken will make the situation better. But, Inslee goes on to say, the graph only shows an average of the entire state, so looking at the graph mustn't give people a false sense of security, since some states are increasing in their rates of infection while other are decreasing. However, if the curve doesn't flatten quickly and dramatically, according to Inslee, we may need up to 5,000 more beds in hospitals in the next week or two, as hospitals reach their capacities. The state is also in dire need of medical personnel and are asking retired nurses and physicians, people right out of medical schools, and those willing to come back into practice to help out and that they are working hard to clear their licences as fast as possible.
This morning it was announced that $1.8M in grants would go to rural Washington counties for the fight against COVID-19. Inslee says he is working on trying to make it possible for people over 60 and people with underlying conditions to, if they feel it is best for their health, stay at home and still get benefits. Inslee asks that, though we all must take care of ourselves, it is very important that we make sure those over 60 and those with underlying conditions are social distancing and staying safe.