Governor Inslee announces new COVID-19 guidance that impacts Skagit residents
Monday, November 16, 2020
Governor Inslee on Sunday announced changes to current COVID-19 guidance. The new guidance takes effect today (with a few exceptions) and will be in place until at least December 14, 2020. There are many changes including:
- No indoor social gatherings are allowed. Outdoor social gatherings can have five or fewer people from outside an immediate household.
- Restaurants and bars are open for outdoor dining and takeout only- no indoor dining is allowed (these restrictions will go into effect on Wednesday, November 18).
- Bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums, zoos and indoor fitness facilities are closed.
- Personal services (such as hair dressers, nail salons, etc…) and retail occupancy, including grocery stores are limited to 25 percent of capacity.
- Long term care facilities can only allow outdoor visitation, except in the cases of end of life care and essential support personnel.
- Religious services are limited to 25 percent indoor occupancy or 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band or ensemble shall perform during these services. Facial coverings must be worn at all times by congregation members, and there cannot be any congregational singing.
- Wedding receptions are prohibited. Wedding ceremonies will be allowed with no more than 30 people in attendance.
- Youth (school and non-school) and adult sporting activities are limited to outdoor only for intra-team practices, and all athletes must wear masks.
- No real estate open houses.
Governor Inslee is also requiring that those who are able to work from home do so. If a business is not able to operate remotely, only 25 percent of the buildings capacity can work from there at one time. Further, no public services should be provided wherever possible. No changes have been made to the guidance’s governing schools or childcare facilities.
This is not a complete list. Full text of the new guidance is available here.
“Cases have been spiking throughout Washington, including in Skagit County. These restrictions are necessary to prevent further spread, deaths and potential hospital overwhelm,” said Skagit Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand. “I’m glad Governor Inslee is taking these steps, and encourage everyone to follow them- if not for their own health, for their neighbors.”
Skagit County has reported more than 150 cases this week. According to the Governor’s risk assessment dashboard, Skagit County has 90.6 cases per 100,000 over the last fourteen days. Skagit’s percent positive test rate, which indicates the percentage of total COVID-19 tests that are coming back positive, has increased to 3.4%.
“I know it’s hard to think about spending this holiday season away from our families, but these restrictions will save lives, and they will the lives of people you personally know,” said Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson. “Following these guidelines will help keep you, your family and our community at large from facing a total health system crisis. Please, do your part.”
More information on Skagit County’s COVID-19 response is available at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus