Governor Jay Inslee plans on reopening Washington once enough of its residents gets at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. He's aiming for 70%.
Vaccination trends show that Washington could hit that milestone by June 30. However, if it was reached sooner, we could see an early reopening.
White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response Team Andy Slavitt said in a tweet Sunday that Washington was the latest state to reach the 70% mark.
Congratulations to Washington state, the 11th state to surpass vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one dose.— Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt46) June 6, 2021
Congratulations to Maryland and California— the 11th and 12th state to reach 70% of the adult population with a first dose.
Does that mean the time for restaurants, venues and other spaces to open up fully has come?
The short answer is: No.
We reached out to Governor Inslee's office to find out if we could be seeing the return of packed restaurants and indoor venues in the coming weeks. Here's what they told us:
The federal vaccination numbers Slavitt is referencing in his tweet are not vetted by the state.
The Washington Department of Health doesn't have access to the numbers from Washington-based federal vaccination programs so they haven't been able to analyze them.
The DOH has questions about the accuracy of federal numbers as there is a chance people have been counted more than once. According to the Inslee's office, they have been asking for the federal data but haven't been given access.
As far as DOH data shows, only 63% of Washingtonians have received their first shot.
Inslee's office brought up a few other points. They said the White House is looking at people 18 years and up while Washington looks at people as young as 16.
The White House is also using population data from 2019 and Washington uses more recent data, according to Inslee's office.
Seems like the time hasn't quite come yet for the full reopening. But, being only 7% away from Inslee's target, Washington businesses and residents can hope to see it happen sooner rather than later.