News Gleam: Inslee Temporarily Shutting Down Restaurants, and Bars

by Emerald Staff

In his most drastic action yet to limit the spread of COVID-19, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that he will sign an emergency proclamation to temporarily shut down bars and restaurants and further limit the size of gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak.

Expected to be signed Monday, the order will limit crowds to 50 people or fewer, a decrease from Inslee’s initial ban of gatherings of 250 or more. 50 is the recommended crowd size number from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020. Restaurants will, however, be allowed to have take-out, drive-through and delivery services, but no in-person dining.

Planet Fitness in Rainier Beach sent a note to members Monday morning letting them know they would not be billed for the two weeks the club is closed down.

Offices spaces will not be impacted by the order.

King County Executive Dow Constantine also announced a Local Health Order, allowing retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, to remain open provided they meet certain Public Health directives.

“It is time, right now, for people to assume that they and everyone they meet is infected, to avoid any unnecessary interactions that might lead to further infection, and to wait and monitor to see if they have in fact been infected so that they can isolate and recover without presenting a risk to others,” Constantine said in a statement sent to media.

Both Constantine and Inslee have planned a joint press conference for Monday.