Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to the media after the Legislature adjourned its 60-day session Thursday in Olympia. (Rachel La Corte/The Associated Press)

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to the media after the Legislature adjourned its 60-day session Thursday in Olympia. (Rachel La Corte/The Associated Press)

Inslee to temporarily close restaurants, bars, entertainment venues to fight virus

Extraordinary measure expected to be signed Monday

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday night that he will sign a statewide emergency proclamation Monday to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The press release issued Sunday night added that gatherings of over 50 people will be prohibited and gatherings with under 50 people are prohibited unless they meet previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus,” Inslee said in the press release. “I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.”

Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be allowed, according to the press release.

The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, but other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

King County announced that it will take these actions immediately, in advance of the Monday proclamation.

“King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state,” Inslee said. “I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details [Monday] morning.”

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