Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that Washington is setting new requirements for commercial airports and recommendations for airlines.
This is a statewide approach to the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health and safety of workers, passengers and crew in the aviation sector.
"The steps we're taking will help protect those who need to fly," Inslee said. "This guidance isn't just about SeaTac -- these requirements apply to airports across the state -- Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Everett too."
In addition to the new baseline guidance from the state, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle announced additional steps to protect the health and safety of airline passengers and staff.
The guidance will require face coverings in the airport; signage and spacing for physical distancing; protective barriers between travelers and workers; sanitizer and disinfectant protocols; and that airport vendors and businesses follow state and county health agency requirements.
It also strongly encourages airlines to establish health screening questionnaires for passengers regarding potential COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, and to require passengers abide by face covering and physical distancing requirements in order to be issued a boarding pass.
COVID-19 Case Update
Through late afternoon Sunday, there were 439 more coronavirus cases confirmed in Washington, bringing the total number of diagnoses to 86,269, including 2,100 deaths, according to the state Department of Health. At least 7,455 people have been hospitalized in the state due to the virus. Late Saturday afternoon, another 604 coronavirus cases were confirmed. Friday nite 988 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths were confirmed in Washington.
The number of coronavirus tests conducted in the state surpassed 1.82 million, with nearly 18,000 more tests, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Health (DOH). Nearly 37 percent of the 2,100 deaths reported statewide were in King County. By comparison, 1,005 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day Friday, marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.
The global death toll from COVID-19 is nearing 1 million, there have been more than 33.1 million cases reported, and mass vaccinations remain unlikely until mid-2021, according to health experts.
The USA has reported more than 7.1 million cases and 204,700 deaths through 10 am Monday. New case records were set in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and record numbers of deaths were reported in Alaska and North Dakota.
Two days after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered counties to let restaurants and bars reopen at full capacity, Florida's COVID-19 cases went above 700,000 on Sunday with the death count at 14,202.
Inslee Extends Tuition
Last Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee extended a proclamation related to the Washington residency requirement for public university tuition waivers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It suspends the residency requirement that allows public university graduate students to receive tuition waivers in exchange for performing teaching and research functions. Many graduate students come from outside the state and country. Due to COVID, many of these graduates may not be able to travel to campus, but they can still work remotely within online learning environments.
Safe Start Guidance for
Gov. Inslee issued guidance for miscellaneous venues last Tuesday (Sept. 22), including convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in hotels, events centers and other similar venues as part of Washington's Safe Start phased reopening plan.
For miscellaneous venues, the guidance allows business meetings, professional development training and testing, and substantially similar activities to occur away from business premises and with additional attendees, as long as all requirements are met.