Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivers a statewide TV address Monday. (TVW)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivers a statewide TV address Monday. (TVW)

Governor: Stay at home — and that’s now an order

Jay Inslee on Monday took an aggressive new step to curb social interactions as coronavirus deaths rise.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday ordered Washington residents to stay at home for the next two weeks in an unprecedented attempt to blunt the spread of COVID-19.

The proclamation signed by Inslee aims to aggressively curb movement and interaction of residents by shutting down businesses deemed non-essential and banning public and private gatherings of people, including weddings, funerals and celebrations of life.

“It’s time to hunker down in order to win this fight,” Inslee said in an address to the state.

The order took effect Monday, though provisions for business closures go into force Wednesday.

But it is not a “shelter-in-place” mandate. Residents are allowed to go outside, and essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies will remain open. Inslee’s office released a 14-page list of workers whose jobs are considered “essential” and critical. They cover a range of sectors, from health care to defense, public works to the news media.

Also, while eating and drinking on-site is still banned, restaurants and bars may continue to offer take-out and drive-thru food options.

Inslee warned those who don’t heed the order.

“Make no mistake this order is enforceable by law,” he said.

Monday’s directive is another in a continuum of actions undertaken by Inslee in response to the worsening situation.

The number of confirmed infections and deaths in Washington rose sharply again Monday. According to the state Department of Health, there have been 2,221 documented coronavirus cases so far, including 110 deaths. Snohomish County has seen 519 cases and 11 fatalities, according to the Snohomish Health District.

Prior to Monday, Inslee had ordered the closing of schools, entertainment venues and other businesses where people congregate, such as fitness centers and churches.

His new directive is similar to orders in effect in California, Oregon and other states.

Inslee announced the much-anticipated action in a televised address from his office at the Capitol.

The announcement came hours after the Boeing Co., one of Washington’s largest private employers and a major piston of the economy, announced it is shutting down operations in Everett and the rest of the state to protect workers, starting Wednesday. That corporate decision followed the death of an Everett worker from COVID-19.

“Now is a time for bold actions like these, and we will continue to look at what can be done statewide,” Inslee said in a news release about the company’s action.

Until Monday, Inslee had resisted issuing a statewide stay-home order as a means to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, even though Washington has been one of the nation’s epicenters.

Others in the state didn’t wait. The mayors of Everett, Edmonds and Lake Stevens each issued stay-at-home orders for their cities that took effect Monday.

Washington joins a growing number of states trying to be more aggressive in curbing unnecessary movement of residents.

In recent days, California and New York — two other hot spots — imposed such restrictions. They, like Washington, have all received federal disaster declarations. On Monday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown imposed a stay-home order in her state.

Herald writer Zacharian Bryan contributed to this report

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Looters break into 26 Tukwila businesses Sunday night; 9 arrests made

‘What happened in Tukwila was not a protest, it was coordinated looting,’ police say

South King County area police respond to Seattle protests

The responding officers are members of the multi-agency Valley Civil Disturbance Unit, officials say.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. FILE PHOTO
King County sheriff releases message about Minneapolis Police officer

Mitzi Johanknecht calls video of officer kneeling on neck of George Floyd ‘heartbreaking and disturbing’

Native EHS students graduate with help from alternative credit program

The program allows for cultural events — like the annual Canoe Journey — to count toward core school credit.

File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
                                File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2

Mayors cite heavy economic damage from prolonged shutdown.

Most Read