Los Angeles, April 28 : The US states of Colorado and Nevada announced they are joining the Western States Pact launched earlier this month by three states on the West Coast, namely Washington, Oregon and California, which banded together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis called the Western States Pact in his statement a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay-at-home orders and fighting COVID-19.
"Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states," Polis said. "I'm thrilled Colorado is joining the Western States Pact." "There's no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, to keep our people safe and help our economy rebound," the statement read.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak made the announcement via Twitter.
"I'm honoured to have the State of Nevada join the Western States Pact and believe the sharing of critical information and best practices on how to mitigate the spread, protect the health and safety of our residents, and reopen responsibly will be invaluable as we chart our paths forward," said Sisolak.
"Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination, and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback," he added.
The pact announced on April 13 indicated that members would coordinate measures to fight the fatal disease and economic consequences under three agreed principles: residents' health comes first; health outcomes and science, instead of politics, will guide reopening decisions; and states will only be effective by working together.
The pact also outlined four goals: protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected; ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions; mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts; and protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.
The latest moves of Colorado and Nevada were welcomed by the initial members of the pact.
"Today, Colorado and Nevada joined CA, OR, and WA in our Western States Pact. The West Coast is -- and will continue to be -- guided by SCIENCE. We issued our stay at home orders early to keep the public healthy. We'll open our economies with that same guiding principle," California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted Monday noon.
"In Washington state, our decisions are guided by public health data and science and this is a principle we share up and down the West Coast," Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement, adding "the addition of their states will strengthen this regional partnership and save lives." The Western States Pact, whose five members are all run by Democratic governors, is not the only one of its kind in the United States.
Northeastern states, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, joined forces on April 13 to coordinate how the economy would reopen in those states.
Midwest governors announced a partnership on April 16 to reopen the regional economy. The pact consists of Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.
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