Washington state has taken a major step in their limiting public gatherings to help prevent the spread against COVID-19.
Governor Jay Inslee has signed an emergency declaration that Washington will shut down bars, restaurants and places of recreation statewide.
On top of the limitations, all public gatherings are also to be restricted at 50 people, in the latest bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation (Monday) to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities,” said Inslee in a statement. “Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted. The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.”
Initially Washington had set their public gathering ban at 250 people, but are now dropping that to 50 from the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the concerns continue to grow.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges,” continued Inslee’s statement.
Washington has seen their death toll rise to over 40 as a result of coronavirus climb, with confirmed cases reaching over 700 across the state.