Washington enacts stay-at-home order, social bans include weddings and funerals

 newsweek.com  03/24/2020 01:35:09   Jeffery Martin

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order for a minimum of two weeks for Washington state Monday during a televised address. Inslee said the order would go into effect Wednesday and ban many social gatherings, including weddings and funerals.

"We've been thoughtful and deliberate in making these and very tough choices I've been very clear on the need for Washingtonians to stay home already," Inslee said. "But I have heard from health professionals, local officials and others that people still aren't practicing these precautions. That is one of the reasons why we have to take these steps."

All non-essential businesses including restaurants will be closed except for delivery and pick-up. Gathering together for social, spiritual and recreational purposes are also banned.

"If you want to have parties on the beach or play pickup basketball at a park or have sleepovers, these are no longer allowed for at least a couple weeks," Inslee said.

"This also applies to some of the most important gatherings in people's lives, like weddings and funerals," Inslee continued. "For the sake of all, even these occasions have to be postponed."

Newsweek reached out to Governor Inslee's office for comment.

jay inslee

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a stay-at-home order during a Monday address. Elaine Thompson - Pool/Getty

Recent data from the Washington state Department of Health indicates 2,221 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state with 110 deaths attributable to the virus. Out of the 31,933 coronavirus tests performed on individuals, 93 percent of them came back negative.

After the coronavirus related death of an employee, aircraft manufacturer Boeing announced it would temporarily close down its manufacturing facilities in the Puget Sound area.

"This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live," Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said in a statement. "We continue to work closely with public-health officials, and we're in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension."

"We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it's vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services, and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of [coronavirus]," Calhoun added.

Inslee supported the company's actions in a Monday statement.

"I applaud Boeing's decision to implement an orderly shutdown and continue to pay its workers during this difficult time," Inslee wrote. "Now is a time for bold actions like these, and we will continue to look at what can be done statewide."

President Donald Trump approved the mobilization of the National Guard Sunday to assist with the fight against coronavirus in Washington state, New York and California. Command was expected to be retained by the governors.

"We signed what we had to sign and it's been activated," Trump said in a briefing Sunday. "These states have been hit the hardest. Through FEMA, we'll be funding 100 percent of the cost of National Guard units."

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