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OLYMPIA, Wash. — The governors of Washington, California and Oregon announced Monday they’ll work together to re-open their economies while continuing to control the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the partnership with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. While each state is building a state-specific plan, the three states have agreed to a framework that focuses on them working together, putting their residents’ health first, and letting science guide decisions.

“COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness,” the three governors wrote. “In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities.”

Photo of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, right, bumps elbows with a worker at the seafood counter of the Uwajimaya Asian Food and Gift Market, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Seattle’s International District. Inslee said he’s doing the elbow bump with people instead of shaking hands to prevent the spread of germs, and that his visit to the store was to encourage people to keep patronizing businesses during the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Earlier in the day, following a tour at a health clinic, Inslee urged people to wash hands frequently and practice other measures of health hygiene, and to stay home from work and public events if they don’t feel well or have any symptoms of illness. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Governors Said That While Each State Has Made Progress in Slowing the Spread

The Seattle-area saw the nation’s first COVID-19 outbreak, with dozens of deaths tied to a suburban nursing home. California, too, saw an early outbreak and the San Francisco-area was the first major region to impose stringent stay-at-home policies.

The governors said that while each state has made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 each state’s public health leaders will focus on four goals: Protecting vulnerable populations — such as those in nursing homes — who are at risk if infected; ensuring adequate hospital capacity and personal protective equipment in order to care for those who may get sick; mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities; and protecting the general public “by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.”

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