Safe Start Washington

Governor Jay Inslee, in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health, has established a data-driven approach to reopen Washington and modify physical distancing measures while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19.

This approach reduces the risk of COVID-19 to Washington’s most vulnerable populations and preserves capacity in our health care system, while safely opening up businesses and resuming gatherings, travel, shopping, and recreation. The plan involves assessing COVID-19 activity in the state along with health care system readiness, testing capacity and availability, case and contact investigations, and ability to protect high-risk populations.

Governor Inslee announced in his press conference three Safe Start advisory groups with focus on health systems and public health, social supports, and economic readiness.

“These groups include a diverse group of voices, from community leaders in labor, business, government and nonprofit organizations,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “They represent a broad cross-section of Washingtonians from east and west of the Cascades, different generations and a focus on different impacts from the pandemic on our state.”

Each advisory group constitutes a forum for the community to consult with the governor’s office and state agencies on next steps as Washington moves forward. The members of these community leader groups are in touch with communities around the state and will inform decision-making.

The three-community leader advisory groups will be led by state cabinet officials:

  • Public Health and Health Care System led by Department of Health Sec. John Wiesman
  • Safe Work and Economic Recovery led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown
  • Social Supportsled by Department of Social and Health Services Sec. Cheryl Strange

These groups do not substitute for legislative involvement. Cabinet leads and the governor’s office staff will report out to the local elected officials and the Legislature on the progress and status of the state’s efforts.

Read about the three groups and their members on the governor’s Medium page.