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Washington, B.C. head opposite directions in fight against COVID-19

Last Updated Jun 10, 2020 at 4:04 pm PDT

FILE -- The Canadian and American flags are seen on top of the Peace Arch is at the Canada/USA border in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan
Summary

B.C. and Washinton are going in different directions in the fight against COVID-19

While B.C. has been reporting fewer cases, no deaths for several days, Washington had 15 new deaths Tuesday alone

Washington is also opening on a region-by-region basis

WASHINGTON (NEWS 1130) — B.C. and the state of Washington are heading in different directions in the fight against COVID-19.

While it’s been five days in a row without a death in B.C. as of Wednesday, Washington reported 15 deaths Tuesday alone.

Joe Teehan with KGMI Radio in Bellingham says Whatcom County is doing alright, but other parts of the state are worse off.

“Down in the Seattle area they might see a spike. We’ve had spikes even in our eastern Washington counties where we’ve had meatpacking plants where those kinds of operations where people have not been able to socially distance in close quarters,” he says. “They’ve had fairly high rates, and consistently high rates of infection.”

He also says communities along I-5 have been hard hit, like King County and Snohomish County, where he says the outbreak has been the strongest.

“Those counties have not moved into the less restrictive phase of the reopening plan at this point,” he says, noting the population is higher in those areas.

Unlike B.C., Washington’s reopening plan is region-by-region, so some businesses have started to reopen in Bellingham, while Seattle is still under more restrictions.

Teehan says things like restaurants are now open, but at 50 per cent capacity in Bellingham.

“Things are starting to open up and starting to move a bit more economically. But, once again, our health officials are still saying we have to be careful so we don’t get that second wave.”

Hundreds of new cases have been reported in Washington almost daily, with 313 new cases on Tuesday. The state has had almost 25,000 cases of the virus.

North America’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was in Washington state in January.