King County Executive Dow Constantine and Dr. Jeff Duchin announced a series of steps governing bars, restaurants, events, and other gatherings in King County.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, Executive Constantine and Dr. Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.
• All gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited until further notice.
• All gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited until further notice unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met.
• Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020.
• Restaurants and food service establishments may remain open only for drive-through, delivery, and pick-up only, until March 31, 2020.
• All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives in the previous Local Health Order
The Local Health Order was drafted in coordination with state health officials.
Gov. Inslee and Executive Constantine are scheduling a media availability for March 16 to discuss more about what King County is doing, and the Governor will explain statewide actions. Details to come.
“We are at a critical moment in this crisis. We are leaving the phase of COVID-19 outbreaks in concentrated areas of the county, and entering the phase of potentially rapid and widespread infection,” said Executive Constantine.
“It is time, right now, for people to assume that they and everyone they meet is infected, to avoid any unnecessary interactions that might lead to further infection, and to wait and monitor to see if they have in fact been infected so that they can isolate and recover without presenting a risk to others. Go to work if you must. But hunker down if you are able. Postpone anything you can. Treat the next two weeks as a period of self-quarantine, to protect yourself and the lives and health of your loved ones and the entire community.”