Restaurants, bars, entertainment to close statewide Monday, immediately in King County

17 Mars, 2020, 06:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Seattle restaurant Le Pichet had steady business on Saturday but was quieter than usual for a weekend. Now officials have announced restrictions on local restaurants to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus

Bars and restaurants in New York City and Washington State will be restricted to delivery and take-out alone, and theaters will be closed completely, as the city and state fight an uphill battle on separate coasts against the COVID-19 pandemic. People are not permitted to dine-in.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores will remain open, as will child care centers, convenience stores and banks, but will follow "social distancing" protocols of extra space between patrons or customers.

At this time, retail businesses and service operators such as grocery stores, drug stores, and other essential services not required to be closed by the Order may continue to provide services as long as they take steps to minimize the spread of disease.

King County announced Sunday night it would take these actions immediately.

Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited, and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

There were more than 3,700 cases nationwide as of Sunday night and more than 169,000 cases worldwide.

To leaders of organizations big and small in Washington state, Inslee said the prohibition on gatherings of 50 people or more should not be taken as a green light to hold gatherings of 49 people or less.

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"King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state", Inslee said. The Washington state Department of Health says that 8 percent of the more than 9,400 people who have been screened for COVID-19 tested positive.

COVID-19 is spreading in King County, with hundreds of cases having been reported to date. "We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning".

On March 13, Inslee used an executive order to expand the school closures statewide and also expanded the ban on public events and gatherings of 250 people or more to all counties.

Constantine's office has not released any additional information on the immediate closure of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Last Friday, the growing number of cases prompted Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal to announce all state schools will close Tuesday, less than three hours after Spokane officials had announced schools would remain open. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

"I really believe the vast, vast, vast majority of Washingtonians are going to respond to this order", he said.

Also, an emergency room doctor at a suburban Seattle hospital that has treated many people with coronavirus has contracted the disease. Check back for updates.

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