Washington state extends stay-at-home order to May 4

Washington state extends stay-at-home order to May 4
© getty: Washington state governor Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeInslee says Trump coronavirus response akin to if FDR called Pearl Harbor 'a hoax' Green group proposes nearly T infrastructure and clean energy stimulus plan Washington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: 'We will wait' MORE (D) announced Thursday that the state will extend its "stay-at-home" order to May 4. 

At a Thursday news conference, Inslee said “the fastest way to economic recovery is for a recovery of our health, which is fundamental to all we hold dear.”

Washington was hit hard by the virus early on in the U.S.'s outbreak, and as of Thursday evening has more than 6,000 confirmed cases and 262 deaths, according to the state’s department of health.

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The state first announced a stay-at-home order on March 23.

Inslee’s decision comes as some state governors have hesitated to declare stay-at-home orders and the nation grapples with economic fallout from the disease. 

Inslee indicated Sunday that he wouldn't relax guidelines in areas of Washington that have been less affected by the virus. Inslee said on CNN’s “State of the Union” it was “highly probable” the two-week stay-at-home order would be extended. 

“We need to make decisions based on science and reality. And there are some hard realities we have to understand. And that is, unless we continue a very vigorous social distancing program in my state, this is going to continue to spread like wildfire to every single corner of my state,” Inslee added. 

On Thursday, Inslee also expanded the definition of “essential businesses” to include automotive repair shops, private campgrounds and commercial fishing and geoduck operations.