Inslee issues Stay Home order
March 26, 2020
Gov. Jay Inslee stated in a press conference he will sign a statewide order requiring everyone in the state to stay home for at least the next two weeks.
“Tonight, I am issuing a stay home order to fight this virus,” Inslee said in a televised and Internet broadcast Monday evening from Olympia. “This is Washington’s stay home, stay healthy order.”
His “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order gave a 48-hour grace period before requiring all except essential businesses to close and all people in the state to stay at home unless pursing an essential activity. The ban on all gatherings, public and private, for social, spiritual and recreational purposes went into effect immediately.
“The less time we spend in public, the more lives we will save,” Inslee said. The order went into full effect March 25.
“It is still safe to go outside, using social distancing of six feet, but really only for essential purposes,” he said, noting that outdoor exercise is essential for people’s physical and mental well-being.
“Life will go on,” he said.
The order comes just three days after the governor chastised state residents for not staying home.
“People still aren’t practicing these precautions,” he said, of his efforts last week to encourage residents to stay home, businesses to enact work-from-home practices and halt social gatherings. “That’s one of the reasons we have to take these steps.”
According to Inslee, “distancing ourselves is the only weapon against this virus.” While the statewide order is initially set for two weeks, it could be extended.
Along with other public places, non-essential businesses with in-office personnel functions must be closed.
The proclamation states it is still safe for people to go outside as long as they remain at least six feet from each other. All grocery stores, pharmacies, childcare facilities, gas stations, food supply chains and other things that offer people basic, crucial needs, including newspapers, will remain open. People can still participate in activities such as bike rides, gardening and dog walking ― as long as they follow social distancing rules.
“We know life will look different tomorrow in Washington,” Inslee said. “And we know tonight’s announcement affects millions of our livelihoods. But these necessary restrictions will protect us and our loved ones so that we have a livelihood to come back to. We will keep working until this is defeated.”