Stay local with summer travel plans | State Department of Health

Officials want people to limit cross-state travel to help slow spread of COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Health is encouraging people in our state to limit summer travel plans to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

First, be familiar with the Safe Start plan and how it applies to your county. Gov. Jay Inslee’s initiative for a phased Safe Start plan details travel allowances for people who live in counties under different phases. Phases 2 and 3 allow more travel than Phase 1, but that’s not a green light for everyone to travel as much as they want.

“We still want people to limit their travel,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy in a state Department of Health news release Tuesday. “We have places in Washington with a lot of COVID-19 activity. If there’s a lot of cross-state travel this summer, that could spread disease around the state.”

Lofy said it’s understandable that people are ready to get out and enjoy the good weather.

“But Public Health is requesting that if they do travel, that they stay closer to home,” she said. “If people want to travel and it’s allowed based on their phase, we don’t want people traveling across the state. Stay local.”

Just because cross-state travel is strongly discouraged, outdoor activities are still OK when done with the proper precautions. The state Department of Health is sharing tips for enjoying the outdoors safely during a COVID-19 summer:

• Stay 6 feet away from other people

• Wear a mask when you’re around others

• Keep your social circles small

• Wash your hands frequently

• Avoid touching your face

• If you’re around other people, being outdoors is better than indoors

Knowing what phase your county is in is important as many outdoor summer activities, such as pools and water parks will not be opening before counties advance to phases 3 and 4. As for camping – it is allowed in some phases, but all camping is not equal. Camping with your immediate family is a much safer choice than camping with a large group of people.

Another concern is traveling to a state with several COVID-19 hot spots, contracting the virus, and then bringing it home.

“We are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 activity in many states and increased cases here in Washington,” Lofy said. “It’s incredibly important that everyone does their part to slow down transmission by limiting or changing travel plans.”

“Travel that includes sightseeing and dining out can increase the spread of the disease,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said. “If everyone goes about their lives as normal this summer we will likely see a resurgence of cases and may need to close down businesses again which we don’t want to do. So we want to see people stay close to home.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Summer vehicle travel projected to decrease this year

Traffic this summer will likely be lighter across Washington state than previous… Continue reading

AG Ferguson wants to require law enforcement statewide to report all uses of deadly force

Report to Legislature recommends centralized, easily accessible statewide website on incidents

Stay local with summer travel plans | State Department of Health

Officials want people to limit cross-state travel to help slow spread of COVID-19

Public and private universities, colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and similar schools and programs may resume general instruction, including in-person classes and lectures, starting Aug. 1. Pictured: The University of Washington-Bothell campus. File photo
Universities and colleges may reopen in fall, governor says

His order requires masks and physical distancing, among other measures, to help prevent infections.

State Capitol Building, Olympia, Washington. File photo
Tax collections tumble as state braces for huge budget hole

Inslee cancels pay raises for some execs and orders furloughs for workers as special session looms.

Inslee announces updated religious, faith-based services guidance

Modified Phase 1, Phase 2 allow indoor services at 25% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less

King County could be in Phase 2 this week

The county was planning on applying on Monday.

Most Read