Washington governor bans Thanksgiving gatherings, announces new COVID business restrictions
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will implement new sweeping restrictions on businesses and activities as the state reported over 2,000 cases a day over the weekend and average coronavirus cases in the state have doubled in 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.”
According to Inslee’s new order, bars and restaurants will no longer be allowed to offer indoor seating. Outdoor seating will be allowed as long as proper safety protocols are followed, including tables being limited to no more than five people at a time. Restaurants will still be able to offer their customers to go orders.
All in-store retail, including grocery stores, will be limited to 25% capacity, and lingering in seated areas is off-limits. Religious services will also be limited to 25% indoor occupancy or no more than 200 people, with face coverings required at all times. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service.
In addition, all business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be done remotely is allowed will be allowed. Occupancy for meetings is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Professional services must allow employees to work from home when posible and close offices to the public. If offices must remain open, occupancy is restricted to 25%.
Gyms will be prohibited from offering indoor services, though outdoor fitness classes can continue as long as they don’t exceed five people in a group. Meanwhile, entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums and zoos will all be banned from offering indoor service, though drive-in theaters will still be allowed to operate under previously laid out restrictions. Long-term care facilities can only offer outdoor visits, with exceptions for end-of-life care.
Weddings and funeral receptions will be limited to no more than 30 people and youth and adult sports must be held outside only with all athletes wearing maksks. Personal services, such as barber shops and salons, are also limited to 25% capacity and real estate open houses are prohibited…….Read More>>