State wants people in Washington to limit summer travel plans

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Cross-state travel in Washington is “strongly discouraged” this summer, The Washington State Department of Health said Tuesday.

“We have places in Washington with a lot of COVID-19 activity. If there’s a lot of cross-state travel this summer, that could spread disease around the state,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.

If you do travel, stay closer to home, she said.

The department said people should be familiar with the Phase of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan they’re in.

“Phases 2 and 3 allow more travel than Phase 1, but that’s not a green light for everyone to travel as much as they want,” the department said in a press release.

Chelan County, which remains in a modified version of Phase 1 under Inslee’s plan, has still seen a noticeable surge in tourists in recent weekends, especially in Leavenworth and Chelan.

But going back to life as normal at this point would be a mistake,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

“If everyone goes about their lives as normal this summer we will likely see a resurgence of cases and may need to close down businesses again which we don’t want to do,” Wiesman said. “So we want to see people stay close to home.”