Washington State Governor Jay Inslee on Monday issued an order requiring all non-essential businesses to close and residents to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is effective until at least April 6.
“The less time we spend in public, the more lives we will save,” the governor said.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 24, 2020
Specifically, Inslee’s latest order requires about 7 million state residents to stay home unless they need to perform essential activities. It also bans all social, spiritual, and recreational gatherings, which includes weddings and funerals.
“This is a human tragedy on a scale we cannot yet project. It’s time to hunker down in order to win this fight,” Inslee said in a televised address.
The order also means that only essential businesses can remain open. These include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and gas stations, and any other businesses that offer people “basic, crucial needs,” according to the order.
“Businesses and entities that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet,” the order said.
“Industries that can argue they are essential can request a special designation as an essential business.”
The governor is expecting that businesses and residents will voluntarily comply but hinted that there could be enforcement measures if they don’t comply.
Inslee noted that while it appears that most state residents are doing their part, “some still don’t grasp the seriousness of this pandemic,” which is why he believed the stay at home order was necessary.
“This does not mean that you can’t go outside,” Inslee clarified in his address. “If you feel like going for a walk, gardening, going for a bike ride, we consider these things essential activity too for everyone’s physical and mental health. We all just need to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet to protect ourselves and others everywhere, all the time.”
As of Monday, more than 2,200 CCP virus cases have been confirmed in the state, and at least 110 people have died.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Last week, Inslee ordered that bars and restaurants, as well as entertainment facilities, had to close for 30 days. He also ordered gatherings to be limited to no more than 50 people.
Even earlier in the month, Inslee ordered that all public and private K-12 schools be closed until at least April 24.
At least a dozen other U.S. states have issued similar orders telling some 40 percent of the U.S. population to stay home.