Washington State is headed into another lockdown amid the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases. Beginning Monday, November 16 at midnight, the new rules will go into effect. The restrictions include banned social gatherings and ending indoor service at bars and restaurants. In general, socializing with people from other households will be allowed only outdoors —and only in groups of five or less.
Washington State Gears Up For Second Lockdown
Governor Jay Inslee ordered the shutdown following this statement. “Today, Sunday, November 15, 2020, is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state’s history. A pandemic is raging in our state. Left unchecked, it will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues; and keep people from obtaining routine but necessary medical treatment for non-COVID conditions.”
The new regulations are set to last four weeks. In addition to banned social gatherings and the closure of indoor dining areas and bars; outdoor service will be limited five or fewer. Additionally, gyms and fitness centres will be closed down. Same goes for movie theatres, bowling alleys and museums. Indoor gatherings come with a few hurdles. If you plan to gather with people outside your household, they’ll need to have quarantined for at least a week and tested negative. Religious services will also be limited to an indoor attendance of 25% or 200 people, whichever is less. Masks must be worn at all times and choirs, bands or congregational singing is not allowed. Additionally, wedding and funeral services will have a cap of 30 people with receptions being prohibited.
It’s estimated that nearly 20% of Seattle’s cases throughout the year have been from the past two weeks
The restrictions come at a time when for nearly two weeks, the state has broken case records almost daily. At the time of the stay at home order in March, there were just 225 confirmed cases. Currently, the state has shouldered 135,000+ since the pandemic occurred. On November 3, Washington recorded a record day of 1,469 coronavirus cases. However, by November 15, that number had more than doubled to 2,309 cases.
In Seattle, it’s estimated that a whopping 20% of all Covid cases from the entire pandemic have been reported in the past two weeks.
Governor Inslee expanded on the new limitations with this.
“Time is of the essence here; what we know is, if you act early you can save lives, and if you don’t you’ll be swamped by a tsunami of the virus,” Inslee said. “This is in our hands. We make a decision whether this pandemic is going to swallow us whole.”
To see a full breakdown of all the newly imposed restrictions, head here.