Tuesday morning, Gov. Inslee announced the state is extending the current 'lockdown' by 3 weeks, meaning it will go past Christmas.

Inslee said the state has not been able to discern yet what effects the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend had on COVID rates in the state.

This extension means gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, fitness centers will remain closed (unless they've rebranded as wellness centers) and indoor dining will continue to remain closed at restaurants and bars.

It's interesting that during the press conference Tuesday we were meeting with and recording some audio with Kim, the General Manager of Ski Bluewood outside of Dayton. When the conference was over, Kim told us given a three week extension of the dining restrictions, that the resort "just took probably another $60K hit"  when it comes to their restaurant and bar.

He had come down to record a commercial, and Inslee's press conference had just started.  He said while NW ski resorts are expecting huge turnout due to what he described as "pent up demand,"  the inability to serve customers indoors with food and drink will hurt all of them significantly.

It's the same theme we've heard from Sterling's, Kokos', Kimo's and numerous other restaurants and bars. Carryout, curbside, even carside dining (sit and eat in car in parking lot) is a 'side' source of income but not enough to match indoor dining.

Inslee went on to say an additional $50million in Working Washington grants-loans will be immediately targeted towards the industries that are closed (gyms, fitness, etc). He also put up a graphic showing all the CARES Act money that's been set distributed so far by the state. However, that is Federal, not state money.

The state money amounts to about $185-95 million. Inslee said the state is at "crisis level" when it comes to COVID. He said hospitalizations are increasing, yet the current hospitalization rate for B-F Counties locally is 17%.  Of the 402 patients in beds at Lourdes, Kadlec, Trios and Prosser Memorial, 72 have COVID or COVID-like symptoms according to actual BFHD website data. That is 17 percent of all in patient persons.

It is also worth noting that hospitalizations are increasing this winter due to many people electing to have surgical-medical procedures performed before the end of the year; before their benefits change, or Health Savings Accounts 'expire.' Some people cannot carry over their HSA funding. Traditionally a lot of people tend to do this. That is adding to the number of people in hospitals,  it's not necessarily all due to COVID.

As far back as 2014, USA Today and other sources have reported this trend occurs across the country.

To watch the press conference for yourself, click on the button below.

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