Governor orders restrictions on gatherings and food and entertainment facilities
March 12, 2020
Following are two news releases from Gov. Jay Inslee's office regarding mandated closures and restrictions on public gatherings:
Sunday, March 15 release:
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight (Sunday, March 15) that further expands protections against COVID-19.
“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.
“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.
“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.
“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.
“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.”
Friday, March 13 release
In order to further slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Jay Inslee announced his intention to sign several executive orders today ( to expand statewide closures of schools, limit large gatherings and expand protocols for adult family homes.
Inslee made the announcement at the state Capitol in a larger venue than normal to practice social distancing measures.
Inslee expanded his order to close all K-12 public and private schools. Every district throughout the state of Washington will close for the next six weeks. He also announced activity restrictions for all statewide public and private universities, colleges, community colleges and technical schools, private career schools and apprenticeship training programs.
Inslee also announced two further executive orders expanding on orders from earlier this week. The first extends the ban on events of 250 or larger beyond the Puget Sound region to the entire state. The second expanded Tuesday's restrictions on visitors and protocols to nursing homes and assisted living facilities to include adult family homes and waived certain statutory requirements for long-term care workers.