Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Washington and across the country.
The restrictions are statewide and will take effect Monday, November 16 at 11:59 p.m. They will remain in effect until Monday, December 14. Modified restrictions of restaurants will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 a.m.
Activities restricted include: indoor social gatherings, outdoor social gatherings, restaurants and bars, fitness facilities and gyms, bowling centers, miscellaneous venues, movie theaters, museums/zoos/aquariums, real estate open houses, weddings and funerals, in-store retail, religious services, professional services, personal services, long-term care facilities, youth and adult sporting activities.
Activities not included in the modified restrictions should follow current guidance. All K-12/higher education, child care, and courts and court-related proceedings are exempt from the new restrictions.
The new restrictions come as Washington sees consistent increasing daily case counts, with over 2,000 cases a day over the weekend and average cases in the state doubling over the past two weeks.
“This spike puts us in a more dangerous a position as we were in March,” Inslee said during a press conference Sunday. “And it means, unfortunately, the time has come to reinstate restrictions on activities statewide to preserve the public’s well-being, and to save lives. These were very difficult decisions that have very real consequences to people’s livelihoods. I recognize that and don’t take those impacts lightly, but we must act now and act quickly to slow the spread of this disease.”
To help mitigate financial impacts on businesses and their employees, the state will commit $50 million in aid. Businesses can also apply for Paycheck Protection Plan forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration, or from their local bank. If workers are kept in their jobs, the loans aren’t required to be paid back.
For more details see the Governor’s Medium page.
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