This week, Gov. Inslee issued a new proclamationrequiring the people of Washington to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy.” What, exactly does this policy mean for you and where can you go for more information and assistance?
We are living through unprecedented times with the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Between regular updates at the state and national levels, social media posts by various agencies, and events changing by the hour, it’s hard to know where to get up-to-date facts.
Why did the governor order everyone to stay home and some businesses to close? How do we know which businesses will be open? What is an “essential” business? Do I qualify for unemployment during a public health crisis? How can I do right by my employees? What’s happening with our schools? These are just some of the questions people have about what is going on and how it affects them.
Why did the governor issue the order to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy”?
Despite the governor’s previous order for everyone to say home and use “social distancing,” many people continued their daily lives uninterrupted. And the virus continued to spread rapidly, overwhelming our hospitals. Health-care professionals worldwide agree that the only way to decrease the number of new cases of COVID-19 is for us to comply with policies requiring us to stay at home.
In fact, in China, it took three months for them to begin to see the number of new cases and the burden on their health-care resources decline. However, in South Korea, it only took five weeks. Why? Because they were very aggressive about their quarantine/isolation policies. The governor is hoping that this stronger proclamation will have a similar effect here.
And the sooner this is all over, the better. We’re all in this together.
Where does Washington stand right now?
- The statewide case number as of March 24, as reported by the Department of Health and local health districts, is more than 2,400, including more than 123 deaths.
- Effective immediately, all Washingtonians are required to stay home for the next two weeks.
- Effective tonight at midnight, non-essential businesses must close.
- All gatherings are canceled — public and private. This includes weddings, funerals, parties and other events where people gather together socially.
- People should not travel.
- People can still go outside and go on walks, but should maintain a distance of six feet from others. This is called “social distancing.”
- The U.S. – Canadian border is now closed to “non-essential” trips, which includes trips for tourism purposes. Trade continues. Washington’s domestic borders remain open.
- There is no National Guard deployment in Washington at this time.
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