A new four step Safe Start plan was announced by Gov. Inslee Thursday, which he said will start next week. It will be for long term care centers (LTC) and nursing homes.

He stressed this plan may not coincide with a county's SSP (Safe Start Plan). It is not to be confused with his Safe Start Plan for Counties or the rest of us.

The Phases are (1,2,3,4)

  1. Where LTC and nursing homes are at now. Currently window visits, remote visits and no more than two outdoor visits per day are permitted.  Necessary contact for  medical care is not affected by this policy.
  2.  Indoor visits (limited) will be allowed.
  3.  Additional visits will be increased (he did not specify a number)
  4.  Back to normal, although COVID precautions remain--temp checks etc.

To advance a phase, a LTC or nursing home would have to go 28 days without a staff member or resident being diagnosed with COVID.  No new cases in a 28 day period.

Again he said this plan will not link up with the county version. AND, he also said if a LTC or nursing home is in an area with high case rates, they may not necessarily advance even if they meet Phase requirements.  That might affect Mid-Columbia LTC and nursing homes, as B-F Counties (in the state's opinion) are still far too high.

According to Health Secretary John Wiesman, as of this week, persons in LTC and nursing home facilities account for 10% of all COVID cases, and 56% of all COVID deaths.That's just persons in these facilities. That percentage rises even higher when the rest of elderly and compromised health persons are added.

Before taking questions, Inslee got in one more shot at citizens, around the 22:00 mark, making a comment about thinking twice before "goin to some party and standing around with 20 people..."