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@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Update from Kent School District Superintendent about plans for rest of year

Graduation ceremonies may be changed to virtual ceremonies and/or delayed

Martin Coon and his wife Khristine hold the $75,000 check after winning Washington’s Lottery. Courtesy photo
Covington man wins Washington’s Lottery

Martin Coon, a U.S. Postal worker, won $75K off of a scratch ticket in early March.

April free state park days postponed

A date has not been set, though two more free days are approaching in June.

King County and Public Health have turned a former Econo Lodge motel into an emergency isolation/quarantine facility on Central Avenue in Kent. File photo
King County reports 27 coronavirus cases in homeless shelters

County has provided 60 motel vouchers so far for quarantining homeless individuals.

Kent Mayor Ralph plans Facebook Town Hall on April 10

To address COVID-19 pandemic and answer questions

King County’s North Seattle isolation and quarantine site on April 8. The North Seattle/Aurora facility is located at 1132 N 128th St. in Seattle. It features six modular units with a total capacity of 23 people. Corey Morris/staff photo
King County facilities readying for COVID-19 peak

Facilities are located throughout the county to assist patients with varying levels of support.

Kent School District superintendent issues message about school closure

‘It is a necessary step for us to do our part,’ Calvin Watts says

Most Read