by Luke Putvin | Lynnwood Times
In his March 23 address to Washingtonians, Governor Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to all residents of the state.
This announcement came after Inslee shared the facts that more than 2,000 Washingtonians have contracted COVID-19, likely thousands more have the virus but haven’t been diagnosed and that the virus has taken more than 100 lives in the state.
This order bans all gatherings and closes most businesses except for those that “are essential to the healthy functioning of the community” or that are able to let workers work from home.
Residents are able to go outside for essential services like the grocery store or hospital, and this order doesn’t prohibit going out for a walk or a bike ride. Activities like those, Inslee said, are essential to the physical and mental wellbeing of all of us.
Link to list of essential services.
This order is similar to proclamations Inslee has put out previously, but these “measures are more stringent,” he said. Effective for a minimum of two weeks, this will minimize all social contact except for that deemed essential, like if you work at an essential business. The order bans events but also all get-togethers; Inslee mentioned things like sleepovers or pickup basketball games would not be allowed in addition to weddings and funerals.
48 hours from this announcement on March 23, Inslee said that this will close most businesses. Those not impacted include emergency care, transportation, critical local government operations including courts, media outlets and others. Any business that continues to operate must implement social distancing.
“We expect everyone in our state to comply with these measures voluntarily… But make no mistake, this order is enforceable by law… To be socially irresponsible at this time is to risk the lives of loved ones,” Inslee said.
Inslee also urged individuals not to make a run on the grocery stores to overstock and said that if everyone shops normally, there should be no empty shelves.
“This is a very difficult choice… We want to get back to normal as soon as possible… and the fastest way to get back to normal is to hit this hard, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
Watch the full announcement on the governor’s Facebook page here.
Snohomish County Executive Response
In a statement from Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive, he is pleased with the actions Inslee is taking to protect residents.
“I wholeheartedly support action taken statewide by the Governor, and I will take local action as needed. Snohomish County government will continue working, although public access has been limited and public meetings suspended. We are still doing business on-line and have some essential in-person services by appointment. We are working 24/7 to continue to deliver essential services, mitigate the effects of the pandemic on families and businesses, and prepare for the medical needs of our community. I am very proud of our team. They are doing amazing work behind the scenes to respond and prepare. We may not get the attention of larger counties, but I would not trade my team for any other anywhere.”