Washington state under 'stay at home' order to stop the spread of COVID-19
The order will be for two weeks, Gov. Jay Inslee announced March 23.
Last updated 3/23/2020 at 7:46pm
Washington state residents will be under a “stay at home” order immediately to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has gripped the world, Gov. Jay Inslee announced March 23.
The order goes into effect immediately for individuals and in 48 hours for businesses. It will be in place for two weeks.
All gatherings are banned, and only essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants doing to-go orders, laundry services, convenience stores, and banks, among others. The media is also allowed to continue to operate. All businesses that can let employees work at home are urged to do so.
The ban on gatherings includes those for social, spiritual, recreational reasons, including weddings and funerals. It is for both public and private events.
Restaurants, which have already been closed for a week and have been hit hard by the restriction, will be allowed to continue take-out and curbside pickup orders.
Gov. Jay Inslee gave the order at 5:30 p.m. during an address from his desk. Many had been calling for a shelter in place order over the previous weekend, after witnessing a lack of social distancing at parks, beaches and other places in the state.
Inslee said it is still okay to go outside for a walk, as long as people maintain six feet of distance between each other.
The cities of Everett and Edmonds have already issued "shelter in place" orders, which are almost the same as the governor's stay at home order. Snohomish County's largest employer, Boeing, also temporarily halted work at its facility Monday, after an employee died from COVID-19 over the weekend. Mill Creek City Hall is closed to the public, as are all City parks.
Inslee's order follows similar orders by governors of other states, including California, Oregon, and New York.
As of March 23, the state Department of Health listed 2221 confirmed cases in Washington and 110 deaths. Snohomish County had 519 confirmed cases and 11 deaths. Mill Creek had 15 confirmed cases and no deaths, according to data from the Snohomish Health District.
List of essential personnel and businesses who are allowed to continue working: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf
This is a developing story and will be updated.