Gov. Jay Inslee will announce on Monday, Mar. 16, 2020 that all restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational facilities will be closed temporarily, effective immediately in King County and statewide on Monday.

Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020.

This new ban is similar to ones announced Sunday in New York City, Los Angeles, Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts.

Restaurants will only be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services, but no in-person dining will be permitted.

The new ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.

Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited, and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said. “I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly.”

Inslee will announce the new statewide emergency proclamation at a joint media announcement with more details on Monday morning.

Here’s an announcement from King County Executive Dow Constantine:

To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Constantine and Dr. Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.

All gatherings with more than 50 participants are prohibited until further notice.

All gatherings of 50 participants and below are prohibited until further notice unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met.

Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020.

Restaurants and food service establishments may remain open only for drive-through, delivery, and pick-up only, until March 31, 2020.

All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives in the previous Local Health Order.

The Local Health Order was drafted in coordination with state health officials.

Gov. Inslee and Executive Constantine are scheduling a media availability for March 16 to discuss more about what King County is doing, and the Governor will explain statewide actions. Details to come.

“We are at a critical moment in this crisis. We are leaving the phase of COVID-19 outbreaks in concentrated areas of the county, and entering the phase of potentially rapid and widespread infection,” said Executive Constantine.

“It is time, right now, for people to assume that they and everyone they meet is infected, to avoid any unnecessary interactions that might lead to further infection, and to wait and monitor to see if they have in fact been infected so that they can isolate and recover without presenting a risk to others.

“Go to work if you must. But hunker down if you are able. Postpone anything you can. Treat the next two weeks as a period of self-quarantine, to protect yourself and the lives and health of your loved ones and the entire community.”

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