Olympia, WA — Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday evening at ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order to slow down — and eventually contain — the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Tonight, Inslee signed a statewide proclamation for a STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY order in Washington state, similar to orders the public has seen in states like California, which is also combatting this virus.

Here are the main points of his order:

  • It will require every Washingtonian to stay at home unless they are pursuing an essential activity, like shopping for groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment, or going to work at an essential business, which are exempt from this order. 
  • It will ban ALL gatherings of people for social, spiritual and recreational purposes.  This applies to BOTH private and public gatherings.  And, yes, this applies to every type of gathering, including some of the most deeply meaningful gatherings in our communities, like weddings and funerals.  These celebrations of life, these important moments to gather with loved ones, must be postponed.
  • It will close all businesses except essential businesses (this will be further clarified).
  • While some would call this an order to “shelter in place,” that’s not what this does. It is still safe to go outside using social distancing; the grocery stores and other essential businesses will remain open.

Inslee’s full list of essential critical infrastructure workers

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, health care services, child care providers, transportation, financial services, the defense industry, critical local government operations, and media are considered essential. To-go and delivery from restaurants will still be allowed. Inslee’s office provided a full list of industries that are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
  • Life will go on, but with this in mind: Stay Home, Stay Healthy.
  • This order builds upon the early and unprecedented steps we took to protect Washingtonians, including the closure of schools, restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses where people congregate. Inslee said the state has been thoughtful and deliberate in making these tough choices.
  • The governor has been very clear on the need for Washingtonians to stay home, and while most Washingtonians are doing their part, some are still not grasping the seriousness of this pandemic.
  • People will need to stay home unless absolutely necessary. This means the state will be banning all gatherings.
  • The order on gatherings and going out will take effect immediately.
  • Close non-essential businesses with in-office personnel functions and other public places, with the intention to reduce social interactions where this highly contagious virus can spread.
  • Closings on businesses will happen 48 hours after signing the order.
  • Many businesses can continue to operate using telework and that can and should continue.
  • For businesses where individuals cannot work from home, the governor’s office will provide guidance on what businesses are essential, building on the federal government’s and California’s definition of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.
  • All grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food supply chains, and other thing necessary for continued operations will remain open. We expect businesses and residents to voluntarily comply, but we will be discussing in the coming days any enforcement mechanisms if residents and businesses are not complying.  
  • If the function of your business is not listed but a business believes that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, they will be able to request designation as an essential business. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Please note: the governor’s office and the Emergency Operations Center would greatly appreciate the help of our partners and leaders to spread the word that people must avoid the impulse to overstock – if everyone sticks to their normal buying habits, we’ll have enough to make sure everyone – including our health care workers, seniors and other people who are ill – have the supplies and items they need.

As of Sunday night, according to the Washington Department of Health, 30,875 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,996 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 95 have died of the disease.

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