Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibilityWashington Gov. Inslee, wife release holiday greetings amid omicron surge – DC QUAKE
April 18, 2024

Washington Gov. Inslee, wife release holiday greetings amid omicron surge

3 min read

With Christmas just days away, Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, wished Washingtonians happy holidays in a short video at a time of increased uncertainty due to the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

In the video – a little more than one-minute in length – from their home on Bainbridge Island, the Inslees urged people to take precautions against the newest version of coronavirus, including vaccinations, booster shots, and masks.

“Jay and I hope you and your family and friends have a great holiday, and we have the additional stress of the omicron variant. So we have ways to deal with that. We hope that you will take some special precautions,” Trudi Inslee said in the opening of the video, released Wednesday, before turning things over to her husband.

“The good news is we know we can do things to protect ourselves,” the governor responded. “Thousands of Washingtonians have already got their booster shot. We know that boosters are the optimum protection we can provide ourselves.”

The governor said the state is increasing its booster capacity amid the surge and will eventually be opening up another mass vaccination site somewhere in Washington state.

On Monday, a mobile vaccine clinic opened up inside the Federal Way Performing Arts & Events Center in south King County, the result of a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local health authorities. The clinic, which is expected to provide vaccines and booster shots to up to 500 people a day, will be open through Jan. 3

A second mobile vaccination center in the area is set to open at the Auburn General Services Administration Complex from Jan. 5 through Jan. 20.

“But we know masks are available to people, too,” the governor said. “And this is very important. Masks are important even if we have our booster. So, we have many blessings this season, but two of them are get the booster, wear a mask. It’s a good season.”

Washington state’s first lady closed out the video by saying, “So, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. We’re all in this together.”

Though the pandemic dominated the narrative, the video’s more relaxed setting – the Inslees are seated on a couch in front of a Christmas tree in a room partly illuminated by light coming in from a nearby window – contrasts with the governor’s Thanksgiving message urging checking on the vaccination status of guests, getting tested, limiting close contact, and wearing masks in the presence of unvaccinated guests.

According to the state Department of Health, 82.2% of the population in Washington age 12 and up has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 75.6% are fully vaccinated. Washington state’s COVID-19 death rate is 1.2%.

Nationally, more than 200 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated and millions – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – have recovered from the virus, making much of the population less susceptible to the worst outcomes of a COVID-19 infection – hospitalization and death – than they were a year ago.

This article was originally posted on Washington Gov. Inslee, wife release holiday greetings amid omicron surge

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