It was no surprise that the Governor remains tone deaf to the needs of working families and small businesses. This is about so much more than masks. The Governor needs to leave the echo chamber and begin collaborating with elected senators and representatives from every corner of the state. The governor continues to use the word ‘we’ when he really means ‘I’! This monopolization of governance is dangerous and too many people are being left behind.Peter Abbarno, Representative-Elect in the 20th Legislative District
Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced a three-week extension of current restrictions that have eliminated indoor dining at restaurants and bars, closed gyms to indoor activity, and limited occupancy at retail stores. Inslee introduced the measures in mid-November. Originally slated to last through Dec. 14, the extension will keep the same restrictions in place through Jan. 4.
The governor made the announcement at a virtual news conference, where he also announced $50 million in new economic relief for businesses. That funding comes in addition to a $135 million relief package from the federal CARES Act announced on November 17 that must be spent by year end.
The Governor sill has not explained why 28,000 Washingtonians are still waiting for unemployment benefits. Or, whether he found all of the over $200 million still lost to foreign criminals meant for working families. Or, that science and data will be followed so arbitrary restrictions on restaurants and gyms can be lifted. Or, that a special session will be called so he can start working with the duly elected 49 senators and 98 representatives from across our state.Peter Abbarno, Representative-Elect in the 20th Legislative District
The latest indoor rules include:
- Indoor social gatherings with people from outside your household are prohibited.
- Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to 5 people from outside your household.
- Restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service. Outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Outdoor dining must follow the outdoor dining restriction. Table size limited to 5 for outdoor dining. These restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18.
- Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes may still occur but they are limited by the outdoor gathering restriction listed above. Drop off childcare closed.
- Bowling Centers are closed for indoor service.
- Miscellaneous Venues: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Movie Theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are still permitted and must follow the current drive-in movie theater guidance.
- Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.
- Real Estate open houses are prohibited.
- Wedding and Funerals receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
- In-store retail limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food related seating areas. Food court indoor seating is closed.
- Religious services limited to 25% indoor occupancy no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service. Soloists are permitted to perform. Facial coverings must be worn at all times by congregation members and no congregational singing.
- Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible, and to close offices to the public. If they remain open, occupancy is restricted to 25%.
- Personal services are limited to 25% of maximum occupancy.
- Long-term Care Facilities outdoor visits only. Exceptions can be made for essential support person and end-of-life care.
- Youth (school and non-school) and adult sporting activities limited to outdoor only for intrateam practices, masks required for athletes.