The Inslees, during a joint public address from a couch in the governor's office, said they would be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas virtually with their family. The governor urged Washingtonians to rethink the holidays, "so that we may be thankful when we don't lose more lives to COVID."
"Please do not have Thanksgiving gatherings unless you're positive that everyone there has quarantined successfully for 14 days," Inslee said.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, wear masks as they work on their speech before taking them off for a final rehearsal in the governor’s office before making a statewide televised address on COVID-19, Nov. 12, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. (Associated Press)
"Otherwise, every social gathering is just one more brick in a wall of infection," Trudi Inslee chimed in. "It's not just Thanksgiving, but it's also your birthday parties, your [Seattle] Seahawks' celebrations, it doesn't matter what you're doing. These gatherings in your homes are dangerous right now."
While the governor did not announce any new restrictions during the joint public address, he said further measures were actively under consideration and would be announced in the "next few days."
“We are in as dangerous a position today as we were in March,” Gov. Inslee said, according to Q13 FOX of Seattle. “We cannot wait until our hospitals’ halls are lined with gurneys waiting for rooms, before we take decisive action.”
The joint announcement came as Washington state recorded 1,777 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a daily record. As of Friday morning, the state has recorded at least 123,356 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 2,507 deaths from the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Inslee gave his last statewide address in April, during the early stages of the pandemic when the Washington state was already under a stay-at-home order. During that address, he updated the public on stay-at-home restrictions and warned that a return to public life was a few steps away.
The stay-at-home order lasted until the end of May.
All of the state’s 39 counties are paused in either the second or third phase of a four-stage reopening plan that began in early May and started to lift restrictions on businesses, as well as, other activities.
The reopening plan was mean to restart the economy after the state saw massive layoffs and reduction of hours across multiple industries during the state’s stay-at-home order.
His remarks came after local health officials this week pleaded with the public to take the pandemic more seriously heading into the winter holidays during what many describe as the third wave of the virus.
He remained hopeful that the state would get back to normal. While the holidays will likely feel different this year, he said it was just "a temporary solution."
“The cavalry is on the way, but we need to keep people alive until it gets here," he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report