Today, Thursday, March 11, Gov. Inslee plans to hold a press conference:

"Gov. Jay Inslee will address the media today via streaming video and telephone to give an update on the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor will be joined for questions by:

  • Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary for COVID response, Department of Health
  • Nick Streuli, executive director of external affairs, Office of the Governor 

Thursday, March 11
2:30 PM - Media availability"

  Coming off his visit to Robert Frost Elementary in Pasco, and comments by a Yakima County Health District official, many are wondering how close we are to getting Phase 3 metrics.

  According to KEPR TV earlier this week, Ryan Ibach with the YCHD said there have been a lot of discussions, some of them tied to vaccinations.  This brought about a swift response from at least one public official immediately. Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney said she doesn't want any metrics or advancement requirements tied to vaccination "saturation" (numbers of people in regions who've gotten the shot) because that will seriously chip away at people's personal freedom and choice.

  She told KEPR TV she fears that would keep people from being able to go to restaurants, theaters and other public venues just because they don't have the vaccine.

 Since then, other citizens and some officials also have spoken out against tying advancement metrics to the number of vaccinations in a region. They say determing if a region can advance by the number of vaccinated people seriously wades into personal, civil, and other rights issues.

 Inslee said, when asked by KEPR about this topic:

"Well, we're not forcing anyone, we think there is plenty of appetite and desire to be safe and save lives, were having a tremendously positive response."

   No advance word was given as to what will be discussed during this press conference; although YCHD official Ibach told KEPR TV there could be an announcement this week or early next about what Phase 3 will look like.

 Inslee has come under massive fire from citizens, county officials, and the GOP in the state legislature for his failure to have any kind of concrete, public Phase 3 plan since he started his new Healthy Washington idea in January.

  It's a repackaged, rehashed version of his failed Safe Start Plan that sputtered to a halt last fall and winter.

 We will cover the press conference and pass along any important, pertinent information people need to know.

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