Gov. Jay Inslee announced a month-long extension of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order on Thursday. That order, which banned all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses, will continue through May 4.
In his announcement he stated, “Epidemiological modeling from the University of Washington predicts we will have at least 1,400 deaths this year,” Inslee said. “We are yet to see the full toll of this virus in our state and the modeling we’ve seen could be much worse if we don’t continue what we’re doing to slow the spread.”
As of 11:59 p.m. April 1, 2020, we have 6,585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state. For more numbers, visit our coronavirus webpage.
Public gatherings remain banned and non-essential businesses may reopen May 5. If gatherings are held in violation of the order, individuals are encouraged to notify their local police department. Do not call 911.
The Washington State Department of Health released a list of “The dos and don’ts of outdoor recreation” that reminds residents that most local, state and federal recreational lands and fisheries are temporarily closed to discourage travel and slow the spread of the virus.
“Unfortunately, some folks are violating these closures and at the same time, not practicing social distancing. Adventure can wait. The more we can social distance, the sooner we’ll get through this.”
They say that you can still get outside for fresh air, but for the safety of you and your loved ones they ask residents follow these guidelines:
- Do outdoor activities only with people in your immediate household (not extended families)
- Do outdoor activities close by your home, instead of traveling to do them (if you have to take a car, maybe it’s too far)
- If you encounter others, maintain a minimum of 6-feet distance
- Gatherings of any size are not allowed outdoors, just as they are not allowed indoors, that includes friends getting together to go fishing or hiking.
The state Department of Commerce is providing guidance and assistance to businesses on whether they can be considered essential and other resources they may access to help during this time. Residents or workers concerned about non-essential businesses remaining open may file complaints at this link.
“We have taken dozens of steps under my emergency powers to help people in this time – including moratoriums on evictions, mortgage forbearance, utility ratepayer assistance, unemployment extensions, flexibility on tax payments and cash assistance to families,” Inslee said. “We will do more.”
Inslee added that part of that effort is the sacrifice of business owners who had to shut down and of their workers who struggle to pay bills and the administration is engaging in productive conversations with industries to devise a safe way for them to get back to work when we can lift that part of the order.
In addition to the extension of “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” the governor signed a directive to the Department of Enterprise Services and the Emergency Management Division to secure personal protective equipment as expeditiously as possible.
Also Thursday, Inslee announced a delay in the implementation of new state building codes from July 1 to Nov. 1 to provide adequate time for training and outreach that was interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. These codes relate to construction and occupancy of residential and commercial structures throughout the state. Read that proclamation here.
Read all of the governor’s recent proclamations here.