News Alert: Washington State to shut down all restaurants, and bars. Here’s how to prepare.

In the face of the mounting spread of Coronavirus, Governor Jay Inslee announced via a statement a new ban on gatherings over 50 people and the temporary shut down of all restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational facilities:

“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.

“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

“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.

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

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. 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 tomorrow morning.”

The move comes following governors in Illinois, Ohio and California making similar moves effective Monday. The announcement was made following CDC just released guidance recommending against social gatherings beyond 50+ people.

Grocery stores and pharmacies will stay open, and restaurants will be allowed to offer take out and delivery services. Mixed use stores that sell food and apparel will be limited to their store capacities which will be enforced.

Want to help your friends and family? Order, Eat, Shop local.

Many restaurants, particularly in Downtown Seattle and South Lake Union, have already been hard hit. As Google, Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon’s workforce telecommutes, restaurants and bars have been mostly empty. Many have altered their opening times and some have shuttered completely for at least eight weeks.

Those hardest hit by the Covid virus pandemic are small, local and independent businesses least able to weather loss of business due to closures and loss of business. Most restaurants will still be offering takeouts, and many small businesses have started places where you can donate to them. If you can, think about making a contribution, or keep your shopping local.

How can you help your community?

Right now, homeless shelters, food banks and many other critical services are shutting their doors because they are lacking volunteers. If you are not a most at risk demographic – think about volunteering your time with a local program.

In addition, if in need you can use these cards to see about helping those most vulnerable living near you as well.



Make it More than Quarantine

If you are stuck at home, in quarantine or find yourself alone and wishing you had more connections – take it online. Make a Facebook or Zoom group for really normal things like doing Yoga, watching a game. In what ways can you take social time online?

In addition, cities are now grappling with how to contain outbreaks and better create pathways to treatment. This is also a great time to think about how many of these responses can easily be transferred to other fundamental issues. If counties and cities are buying hotels and motels, now empty because of the crash in tourism, these can also be the perfect centers for temporary housing for a cities most vulnerable populations, and able to centralized response and services.

Put together your Covid Quarantine Kit & Make it Ready for the Cascadia Megaquake

The Coronavirus is a real life scenario of what a major disaster striking the Cascadia can look like and mean for the millions of people living here, having to potentially go weeks under self quarantine. Use this opportunity to build an emergency kit that contains 6-8 weeks of food, plus water, medical and anything you might need in the case of an earthquake, flood or other natural disaster. In addition, a mobile kit that can last 2-3 days is also a good idea.

  • Three gallons of water per family member

  • Battery or hand-crank powered radio

  • Flashlight

  • Extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Solar charger / panel.

  • Water filter / purifier / iodine tablets.

  • Supply of medications

  • Multipurpose tool

  • Copies of personal documents, such as insurance and identification

  • Extra cash in small denominations

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Local maps

  • Duct-tape

  • Manual can opener

  • Household liquid bleach for water purification, plus eye dropper for measuring

  • Waterproof matches

  • Baby supplies if needed

  • Pet supplies if needed

  • Rain gear and warm clothes

  • Insect repellent and sunscreen

  • Extra clothing

  • Emergency blankets

For COVID 19, individuals should also think about breathing ventilators, masks and gloves. Sterilizing wipes and soap for frequent washing and sterilizing is also effective.

A great list of specifics can be found here steps to take around the house are here.

Anything we missed? Feel free and let us know in the comments.

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