"If we mask up, we can open up."

Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wa) was at CBC in the Tri-Cities today (Tuesday, June 30) giving the obligatory wear your mask lecture, and during his remarks, he disclosed our area mayors are leading the call for a mandated No Mask, No Service policy.

Inslee said we will "know in a few days" if that is the proper course of action in the Tri-Cities.

The No Mask No Service policy is already active in Yakima.

Gov. Inslee said the mayors of Richland, Pasco, West Richland and via-a-letter from Kennewick, all implored him to mandate the must have mask to be served policy, because they all had strenuously argued the critical financial need for some sort of business openings.

Inslee is concerned about thinning ICU bed space in Benton and Franklin Counties and the dramatic positive COVID-19 tests over the last few weeks as Benton County numbers have spiked by five-times, and a six-fold increase has been reported in Franklin County.

He also spoke of a same time policy decree that would simultaneously "Open and Save Lives", but there was no elaboration. Gov. Inslee's speculation is that if everyone masks up, then in a couple of weeks we may be ready to talk a Phase move. Phase 1.5 is being bandied about already, but nothing official.

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Meantime, since yesterday, 39 new total confirmed cases have been reported for Benton and Franklin Counties. Fifteen new cases in Benton County and 24 new Franklin County cases.

Once again, those numbers are not even close to where we HAVE to be to get the phase criteria going. The cliche of we're all in this together? In this window, that means together we must wear masks when social distancing is not possible. Those rules of engagement are for everyone's ultimate benefit.