Nine months into a pandemic, restaurants and bars in Washington have been in this spot before, but no doubt the rollbacks will have a significant impact. Inslee addressed the economic toll COVID-19 measures have taken, and committed an additional $50 million to help businesses and workers with a combination of grants and loans, although details weren’t revealed yet.
The proclamation was made after states and cities nationwide took similar action, including the shut down of Las Vegas casinos and restaurants and bars in New York. Grocery stores and pharmacies can operate as normal, and other retail outlets must limit the number of customers shopping at any given time.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus,” Inslee wrote in a statement. An hour after the announcement, Jesse Pyle's sat at the bar of his restaurant, Fire Artisan Pizza.
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said in a statement Sunday night that the closures are “extremely sobering.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tightened its guidelines Sunday to recommend that gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled for the next eight weeks.
At the Onion, owners already had changed hours and began limiting seating capacity to comply with “social distancing” recommendations. In a Facebook post, Perry Street Brewing said it supported Inslee’s decision, saying it hoped to see customers again when its taps start flowing.
Chad White, who owns Zone Blanca ceviche bar and three other restaurants, said he was working on options to serve customers. Heisted also owns several restaurants under the Eat Good Group, including the Wandering Table, Gilded Unicorn and Yards Truncheon.
The Union gym in Spokane decided earlier Sunday to temporarily cancel its workout sessions for two weeks. “We want to put the health of our athletes, team and overall community at the forefront,” the Union posted on its Facebook page.
Other retailers, including Urban Outfitters, Nike, Free People and Patagonia, closed stores over the past week. Inslee said more details on regulations in King County, the center of the outbreak in Washington, are expected to come Monday morning.
Spokane County’s total number of confirmed cases remained at three following Saturday’s announcement by health officials of its first positive test result, but officials also said unassigned cases could be linked to Spokane. Two new deaths were announced Sunday, both from the elder care center in Kirkland that has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus.
According to the Health Department, 9,451 tests have returned negative in the state, compared to the 769 positive cases. The Spokane Regional Health District expects to see more confirmed cases as testing becomes more widespread.
In a statement Inslee said the ban, to be issued via emergency proclamation Monday, wouldn’t apply to grocery stores and pharmacies and that restaurants statewide could continue take-out and delivery services. Public health officials in the Seattle area reported two more COVID-19 deaths, bring the total statewide to at least 42.
Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close in the nation’s most populous state. Also, an emergency room doctor at a suburban Seattle hospital that has treated many people with coronavirus has contracted the disease.
EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Washington, said in a statement Sunday that the doctor was in “critical condition but stable.” Dr. Liam Yore, the immediate past president of the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told The Seattle Times the doctor was in his 40s.
Yore told the newspaper the doctor had used personal protective equipment and that it was not known whether the physician contracted COVID-19 in the community or at work. Jay Inslee said Thursday he is tightening restrictions throughout the state in restaurants and bars, for weddings and funerals, and at gyms in a further effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.
For restaurants, indoor dining will be limited to members of the same household and alcohol service must end at 10 p.m. Bars, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries must close all indoor service, regardless of whether food is served, Inslee said.
For all phases, the maximum indoor occupancy for weddings and funerals will be 20%, or up to 30 people, whichever is less, as long as 6 feet (1.8 meters) of distance can be maintained between households. The restrictions include gyms, fitness studios, indoor pools, ice rinks, volleyball and tennis courts.
Gyms in phase three counties must reduce occupancy to 25% and limit group fitness classes to 10 participants. Don Blackened, Downtown Seattle Association vice president of Advocacy & Economic Development, said Thursday that public health must come first, but people also need to support small businesses as they continue to adapt to the changing landscape.
Seattle bar owner About van der Were said with Paycheck Protection Program money spent, savings exhausted, and unemployment for workers to run out, he “is facing the new grim reality that it wasn’t good enough and more needs to be done.” Also, Thursday, State Health Department Secretary John Wiseman expanded the face-covering mandate to include common spaces such as elevators and hallways in places such as apartment buildings, university housing, hotels and nursing homes.
A mandate is already in place requiring face coverings in public buildings and outdoors when 6 feet of space cannot be maintained. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Jay Inslee announced that restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities will be shut down statewide to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation (Monday) to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities,” the governor said in a statement released Sunday night.
The directive takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and “lasts as long as it needs to; no end date set,” an Inslee spokesperson said. Events with fewer than 50 people are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met, the governor said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged a nationwide halt to gatherings of 50 people and more for the next eight weeks. Inslee’s announcement was the latest in a series of emergency actions taken to combat the pandemic through “social distancing” -- keeping people away from others at schools, work or events to help limit transmission of the virus.
Last week, in announcing the ban on public events and gatherings of 250 and more, Inslee said he didn’t want to see people shoulder-to-shoulder in bars. Inslee said King County, effective Monday, will shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as prohibit public events and gatherings or 50 people and more.
I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly,” the governor said in a statement. All other retail in King County such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, and shopping centers, may remain open provided they follow public health directives to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Jay Inslee on Tuesday loosened some restrictions on some businesses, such as libraries and movie theaters in Phase 2 counties. The Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries are working on a plan to reopen, even though they can only do so at 25% capacity.
The branches closed in March, but in June began offering curbside services. “We’ve got our own customized plan, as far as our building and our layout and how people will flow in and out,” he told JOIN 6 News.
A lot of our staff made these sheets that go over the seats themselves, not only as a protection barrier but (so) we know where they sat.” This includes places like hardware stores, shopping centers, banks and gas stations.
All gatherings of less than 50 people will only be allowed if they meet public health criteria around cleaning and social distancing. “These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus,” Inslee said in a press release.
King County Executive Dow Constantine has also directed a countywide order that will become effective on Monday, March 16. On Saturday night, revelers in many parts of the country ignored warnings against attending large gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City are among the places that ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service. In New Orleans and Chicago, people clad in green for St. Patrick’s Day packed bars and spilled onto crowded sidewalks Saturday, even after the cities canceled their parades.
Thomas, a nurse from Colorado, said he had flown to Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with friends and thought people might be “overreacting.” In New Orleans, Syd Knight, 86, celebrated despite the public health warnings and the higher risk she faced because of her age.
Oklahoma’s governor tweeted a picture of himself and his children at a crowded metro restaurant Saturday night. The Democratic governor ordered all bars and restaurants in his state to close from Monday night until March 30.
He said he had tried earlier last week to appeal to everyone’s good judgment to stay home, to avoid bars, and not congregate in crowds. Washington, the state the hardest hit by the virus with more than 40 dead, will see its bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities all temporarily closed except for food takeout and delivery.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said. Mike DeWine said the “very drastic action” was prompted by concerns from around the state about crowded bars.
Gavin Newsom called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close in the nation’s most populous state. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garrett issued an executive order Sunday to close bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.
“A friend of mine walked into a bar/restaurant last night in As bury Park, and they were packed,” Murphy, a Democrat, said on WBLS-FM 107.5. New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said it was “unacceptable” that people were ignoring a ban issued by Gov.
Advising people to completely avoid restaurants “might be overkill right now,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but he added that he wouldn’t go to one himself because he didn’t want to be in a “crowded place” and risk having to self-quarantine. Republican Rep. Devin Tunes had a different message on Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures, encouraging people to go to local restaurants and pubs.