Over the last few days, restrictions to gatherings and businesses have been changing quickly. Currently, there are new restrictions on gatherings of all sizes. Groups of 50 and larger are prohibited by an executive order issued by Governor Jay Inslee. The order also prohibits gatherings of under 50 people unless criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
These changes are effective starting March 16th until March 31st, or until otherwise updated.
Criteria for under 50 gatherings:
- Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions who are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees)
- Social distancing recommendations must be met (i.e., limit contact of people within 6 feet of each other for 10 minutes or longer)
- Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic
- Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees
- Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently)
Additional restrictions will be applied to a number of businesses, primarily restaurants, bars, event centers, and other recreational facilities. The community and eating areas of these places will be shut down temporarily; however, many local coffee shops and eateries will still offer drive thru, take out, and in some cases delivery. Other types of retail will have reduced occupancy limits that have not yet been announced.
Excluded from these restrictions are grocery stores and pharmacies. Other businesses are encouraged to stay open in order to keep the economy active and strong.