Seattle, WA – Governor Jay Inslee has released a statement saying he will sign a STATEWIDE Emergency Proclamation on Monday, March 16th, 2020 to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities until at least March 31st, 2020. The ban applies to restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health clubs, fitness clubs, and similar indoor venues. All gatherings of 50 participants or more will be prohibited across the state. All gatherings of 50 participants or less will be prohibited unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met.
Grocery Stores and Pharmacies will stay open. Restaurants may continue to provide take-out and delivery services, but will not be allowed to have dine-in or sit-down meals. Retail outlets can stay open with reduced occupancy.
These are very difficult decision, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease said Inslee. “I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges,” said Inslee.
“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning,” said Inslee.
As of March 15th, 2020, there are 769 overall Positive cases of Coronavirus in Washington State. 42 People have died. 9,451 people have tested negative.