A Message from Gov. Jay Inslee
Greeting from Olympia and a happy June to you all. It is hard to believe 2020 is almost halfway over, but it has been one of the busiest and most challenging periods in my two terms as your governor.
We do not yet know how the spread of COVID-19 will continue to affect our region, but I want you to know my office and state agencies are working around the clock with both local officials and the federal government to keep it contained.
You can learn more about our efforts, as well as resources for you and your family, at coronavirus.wa.gov. The website specifically includes links to resources for older adults struggling as a result of COVID-19, including information on how to screen yourself for potential COVID-19 symptoms. At that website we also have available all of the data the state is using to track the spread of this virus and to try to contain it.
You know, I have our older Washingtonians in mind every day since this crisis began, and not just because I’m 69 years old myself. Roughly 90 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 in our state have occurred among residents over the age of 60.
The unfortunate fact is many of our generation and older are feeling isolated right now. I know this time has been excruciatingly challenging for our older residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, some of which have been hard hit by COVID-19 and where many have gone a long time without in-person visits out of a need for caution.
There are resources for people who feel alone as well. The national Institute on Aging provides a 24-hour toll free friendship line at 1-800-971- 0016.
While I still encourage you to stay home and use technology to communicate with your grandkids, community groups and friends, I know this can never replace the joy of being with others in person. I love my 103-year-old mother-in-law, but the risk is too much for us to visit her until we have this highly infectious disease more under control.
As this crisis continues to unfold, do not hesitate to contact my Constituent Services office with any questions or concerns at 360-902-4111. There is also more contact information at governor.wa.gov.
We want everyone to live full and energetic lives regardless of age. When we do things for our seniors in Washington state, we’re standing behind this belief system: That we value each other enough to take care of one another.
Stay healthy, and wash your hands. --Gov. Jay Inslee.