King 5: Gov. Inslee Bans Indoor Gatherings and Further COVID Restrictions

From King 5 News on Nov. 15, 2020 – Governor Inslee announces closures of indoor dining, other restrictions to curb COVID-19

Gov. Jay Inslee has announced new statewide restrictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, which includes closing indoor service for restaurants and bars and prohibiting indoor social gatherings.

These rules will mostly go into effect on Monday at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until Dec. 14.

The announcement comes following days of increasing COVID-19 cases.

The impacted industries/areas are:

  • The biggest impact will be the closure of indoor dining at restaurants and bars. Outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Outdoor dining must follow the outdoor dining restriction. Table size limited to 5 for outdoor dining. These restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.
  • In-store retail limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food-related seating areas. Food court indoor seating is closed.
  • Indoor social gatherings from people outside your household are prohibited and outdoor social gatherings should be limited to 5 people outside your household.
  • Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes may still occur but they are limited by the outdoor gathering restriction listed above.
  • Wedding and funerals receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
  • All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Movie theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are still permitted and must follow the current drive-in movie theater guidance.
  • Religious services limited to 25% indoor occupancy no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service.
  • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.

During an 11 a.m. press conference, Inslee announced $50 million for aid to businesses who have been impacted.

Watch the press conference below or by clicking here.

King 5: Community Brings Supplies to Residents Stranded Along Hwy 2

In another example of the importance of being prepared and the importance of community, some residents who live along US Highway 2 have been stranded in their homes and without electricity since last Friday as over three feet of snow fell in the area. Miles of the highway are still closed, but WSDOT was able to open a portion of the road and community volunteers have been bringing supplies to some.

Patience is wearing thin for residents impacted by the closure of US Highway 2 near Skykomish. Most living in the area have been without electricity since 2 p.m. Friday.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) opened a portion of US 2 on Wednesday at 2 p.m. for local access to Skykomish for people living between Money Creek tunnel and Skykomish. US 2 remains closed between Skykomish and the Stevens Pass summit.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 10,” said Baring resident Charlie Preston. “It’s hell.”

But help arrived Wednesday when WSDOT escorted a group of volunteers across US 2 with supplies donated by community members for residents stranded by the closure.

“We’ve got like four trucks packed full right now with more coming. Everything from pellets for pellet stoves, gas for generators, diesel, the normal amenities that everybody needs,” volunteer Dave Mergenthaler said. “Food, bread, milk, tons of water, anything and everything we could gather between last night and this morning is going up.”

“This is the type of help that just warms you when nothing else does,” said one resident when the help arrived.

Some residents have posted videos showing at least three feet of snow on the ground. Mergenthaler said some people have been trapped in their homes for days.

“We don’t have news, we don’t have phones, we don’t have internet. We’re totally isolated,” said Preston. “I don’t know if the governor has called this an emergency. If he hasn’t, he needs to. We need all the help we can get.”