July 24, 2020
Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday tightened restrictions across the state for restaurants and bars, as well as other gathering places, in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The statewide eviction moratorium also will be extended again, though Inslee indicated details are forthcoming.
Indoor activities will be the primary target of the restrictions because health officials say that’s where the highest risk to virus exposure could occur. Indoor dining in restaurants will be limited to members of the same household and alcohol service will be cut off at 10 p.m. Inslee noted, bars, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries still must close all indoor service, even if food is served. These new rules will go into effect July 30.
Inslee says, “We all care about business openings and people getting back to work. I know that public health and economic activity actually go hand in hand. These actions we’re taking today are certainly not an attempt to punish businesses. Our suppression of this virus is not at the level it needs to be to continue allowing for more activity. If we let the virus get even more control, it will have even more devastating impact over the long term in our economy and certainly in our health.”
Washington State Health Department Secretary John Wiesman on Thursday also expanded the face covering mandate. It now includes common spaces such as elevators and hallways in places such as university housing, hotels and nursing homes, and will go into effect on Saturday.
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