Gov. Inslee encourages seniors to self isolate, announces additional restrictions on public life

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Gov. Jay Inslee said his announcement that bars and restaurants must close also includes other businesses that can draw a crowd, including gyms, fitness centers, barber shops, beauty and nail salons, movie theaters, tattoo parlors, non-tribal card rooms, youth sporting events and clubs, wineries and more.

Sunday night, Inslee ordered a statewide shutdown of restaurants and bars, and limits on all gatherings in Washington state of more than 50 people.

“All of us have to recognize for the next several weeks that normal is not in our game plan,” Inslee said at a press conference Monday in Seattle with King County Executive Dow Constantine.

The new orders go into effect at midnight Monday and will be in place through March 31.

Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open, Inslee said, and restaurants will be allowed to offer takeout meals or make deliveries.

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit the state hard; Inslee noted that Washington is just 2 percent of the country’s population, but the state now has more than 20 percent of all coronavirus infections in the U.S.

“Never since World War II have we faced a situation like this,” he said.

“This is bigger than all of us. And I am fully confident that Washingtonians will rise to this challenge.”

The COVID-19 outbreak requires changes to the lives of all Washingtonians, he said. Social distancing and keeping people apart from each other is now the primary way to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“Think about where you are seated in all occasions,” the governor said. “Six feet between us ought to be the rule in every circumstance.”

Inslee gave a “strong recommendation” to those most at risk, those over 60, to self isolate.

That means canceling the weekly get-togethers you’ve done for years. That means no more wrestling on the floor with your grandkids, Inslee said.

“You just can’t do that anymore,” Inslee said.

“We’re going to save dozens if not hundreds of our loved ones,” he added.

People are social animals and they want to be with their loved ones, the governor acknowledged.

“This is tough,” Inslee said.

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