FILE — West Coast governors

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (Left), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (Center) and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Right) 

(The Center Square) — Three West Coast states are asking out-of-state visitors to self-isolate for at least two weeks to help slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new travel advisories were issued by the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington on Friday and also applies to residents traveling home from outside the three states.

Residents are being urged to stay as close to home as possible during the holiday season as all three states grapple with rising case numbers.

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. “As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them.”

Non-essential travel, under the advisories, includes tourism or any other kind of recreational activity.

A new model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected that the U.S. will have 320,403 deaths by January 1 and 438,940 by March 1.

“Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians," said California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”

State officials along the West Coast have warned that tight, poorly ventilated spaces on airplanes, buses, or train are particularly prone to spreading the virus.

The travel advisories urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from outside the country.

The advisory recommends people to restrict social activities to their immediate households as Washington state health officials have urged the public to do this week.

“Limiting and reducing travel is one way to reduce the further spread of the disease,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

The advisories define essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

A Johns Hopkins University tally puts the current number of U.S. deaths related to COVID-19 at more than 242,000. 

All three governors have warned more stay-at-home orders are possibilities and have opted to tighten restrictions in past months in lieu of a full order.

Staff Reporter

Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly.