CORONAVIRUS: Governor orders restaurants, bars to do takeout/delivery only; King County issues other new orders

7:30 PM: Just announced:

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement tonight that further expands protections against COVID-19.

“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.”

8:52 PM: More in a separate annoouncement from King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office

To limit the spread of COVID-19, King County Executive Constantine and Dr. Duchin announced a new Local Health Order that directed public health actions effective Monday, March 16.

All gatherings with more than 50 participants are prohibited until further notice.

All gatherings of 50 participants and below are prohibited until further notice unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met.

Restaurants, bars, dance halls, clubs, theaters, health and fitness clubs, and other similar indoor social or recreational venues must cease operations until March 31, 2020.

Restaurants and food service establishments may remain open only for drive-through, delivery, and pick-up only, until March 31, 2020.

All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives in the previous Local Health Order

The Local Health Order was drafted in coordination with state health officials.

Gov. Inslee and Executive Constantine are scheduling a media availability for March 16 to discuss more about what King County is doing, and the Governor will explain statewide actions. Details to come.

“We are at a critical moment in this crisis. We are leaving the phase of COVID-19 outbreaks in concentrated areas of the county, and entering the phase of potentially rapid and widespread infection,” said Executive Constantine.

“It is time, right now, for people to assume that they and everyone they meet is infected, to avoid any unnecessary interactions that might lead to further infection, and to wait and monitor to see if they have in fact been infected so that they can isolate and recover without presenting a risk to others.

“Go to work if you must. But hunker down if you are able. Postpone anything you can. Treat the next two weeks as a period of self-quarantine, to protect yourself and the lives and health of your loved ones and the entire community.”

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Today’s briefing time has been delayed to 11 am.

74 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Governor orders restaurants, bars to do takeout/delivery only; King County issues other new orders"

  • Marcee Stone-Vekich March 15, 2020 (7:37 pm)

    It’s time. I hope it’s not too late. 

  • Alex K March 15, 2020 (7:40 pm)

    This is just shocking. It’s going to be so devastating to our community.I’m hoping there will be a list of which West Seattle restaurants will do take out and during what hours. I want to support them as much as I can.

  • Kate K March 15, 2020 (7:42 pm)

    Since restaurants can still do take out and delivery, can there be a page that shows menus, contact numbers and ways to order so their customers can still order food from them? That would be a great service for both the businesses and customers. Thanks WSB!

    • WSB March 15, 2020 (7:47 pm)

      There will be. And everyone can help by helping us find that info. Many post to social media but we are ready to be ONE CENTRAL SPOT.

      • riverviewresident March 15, 2020 (8:15 pm)

        Thanks WSB! I dropped out of social media in January, and stay away from news media–except you! You’re my trustworthy and reliable source for all things local.

      • Stuart March 15, 2020 (8:28 pm)

        Thank you!

  • Jen March 15, 2020 (7:52 pm)

    I know Grillbird is doing call ahead orders and they’ll text you when it’s ready if you’re outside

  • WSHS Student March 15, 2020 (8:00 pm)

    What’s this going to mean for students when we are back in class since the ban of 50 people or less will probably still be in effect by then?

    • MrsT March 15, 2020 (9:02 pm)

      I am afraid that we need to prepare ourselves for the potential extended closure of the schools. 

    • rpo March 15, 2020 (9:03 pm)

      You won’t be back in class anytime soon. 

    • LyndaB March 15, 2020 (9:09 pm)

      I’d say prepare for the likelihood you’ll still be out of class and in-person classes won’t be held.  Worse case scenario.  

    • Rumbles March 15, 2020 (10:03 pm)

      Honestly, It is likely you are done with school for this year.  Two weeks ago, we were hardly talking about the coronavirus — look where we are now!  Unbelievable!

    • Answering... March 15, 2020 (10:49 pm)

      Instead of condescending to this student. Maybe we could answer the question. It was in fact stated that the gathering rule doesn’t apply to schools. 

  • AlexC March 15, 2020 (8:01 pm)

    I wonder what this will mean for smaller businesses that don’t usually have a lot of people at once but serve a lot of people through out the day. Places like dentists, real estate, banks, small gyms or haircuts.

    • Amy March 15, 2020 (9:03 pm)

      I work at a dental office and it sounds like we are staying open if patients are still willing to come in. 

    • KM March 15, 2020 (10:05 pm)

      Gyms and exercise studios have to close.

  • miws March 15, 2020 (8:06 pm)

    To WSB’s point in their reply to Kate K’s comment; WSB often very humbly replies, when the outstanding job they do for our Community is recognized by readers, is that this is a collaborative effort that readers greatly contribute to. So, please help them! Text/Voice: 206/293-6302,  e-mail: —Mike

  • flimflam March 15, 2020 (8:11 pm)

    overdue. i work in the industry and have plenty at stake but have been calling for this for a week.

  • TM March 15, 2020 (8:14 pm)

    Question- can anyone confirm if microwaving kills/neutralizes COVID-19?Thanks to Inslee for taking this seriously. We are all going to take a hit in the near term +,  but this is about changing behavior to minimize loss of life. WSB and readers, you have always been an incredible resource. It’s going to be a vital hub in the coming days, weeks and months. Let’s help each other through this.

    • Ice March 15, 2020 (9:13 pm)

      This is a complex question. Out of curiosity, what exactly are you microwaving?

      • TM March 15, 2020 (10:40 pm)

        Prepared food

    • chemist March 15, 2020 (11:43 pm)

      A quick google found the CDC saying 167F kills the flu virus and an NPR interview from January with a U of Iowa professor cited as studying coronaviruses suggests cooking meat at 150F kills the virus.  150F is about the internal temp of medium beef, so that’s probably doable but microwaving your food to 167F is basically taking your food into the well-done and beyond temperature again.  212F is boiling, for reference.  Microwaves also can be pretty uneven in their heating so I’m not sure that the internal temperature of a virus on the outside of a microwaved container would be equal to that of the food.

  • Chris March 15, 2020 (8:16 pm)

    We know this is a big stretch, however how about a break on property taxes for individuals and businesses?   Still have to pay some of it, however pay a bit less???  It would seem would be helpful to many in these times.

    • Admiral Dad March 15, 2020 (8:45 pm)

      I have a feeling the Governor isn’t worried about taking care of the people his proclamations are affecting.  It has been one ban after another announced but very little said about how he plans to help all the businesses he is forcing into bankruptcy.  And no, unemployment doesn’t cover it as it is only a partial payment for what people would normally make.  Sadly, it is not only the state government which isn’t stepping up but both the city and national government are not doing enough to mitigate the disaster they have caused.

      • WS Citizen March 15, 2020 (9:17 pm)

        Indeed! Inslee might find himself on unemployment after the next election.

        • jissy March 15, 2020 (9:53 pm)

          For sure, Admiral Dad — some small businesses just hanging by a thread even before this virus came along.    This will be devastating to most and something they will never recover from.  So hard to watch.

        • wscommuter March 16, 2020 (10:37 am)

          I suppose time will tell.  While I have always been tepid in my support for Inslee, the leadership and political courage he has shown the last few weeks has been exemplary in my view.  He isn’t doing what is politically popular but what medical advice suggests.  He is faced with the classic dilemma of choosing the lesser of two evils – close businesses for public safety reasons fully aware that many businesses will suffer.  If you think he should be voted out for those decisions, that’s how you’ll  vote.  Please do tell us, however, what he should/shouldn’t be doing instead.  I’m all ears.  

      • Angie Penrose March 15, 2020 (11:09 pm)

        It looks to me like Inslee is worried about protecting people from dying. Once we have that handled, then we can turn to helping people who are hit financially. But getting a break in your taxes, or being able to keep your business open, won’t help you if you (your employees, your family) don’t survive this.It’s about priorities. Lives come before money. We can fix money problems later. We can’t fix death problems later.

        • TWST March 16, 2020 (6:32 am)

          Exactly, well said, Angie. We need to recognize the priority is managing the spread of a deadly virus that is new and not completely understood and that we don’t have a vaccination for. The more this spreads, the worse the impact will be on our community.

          Thank you Inslee for making these hard calls to save lives, and for doing so in a measured way.

          We’ll figure out the recovery after managing the crisis.

        • miws March 16, 2020 (9:32 am)

          Very well said, Angie Penrose. Human lives first. And, then, local and the federal governments must do what they can for small businesses to recoup/survive, and keep/hire back their employees, not bailing out the big corps.  The big corps can take care of their employees, and I’d say they should be required to if there is any way possible. The top execs and top shareholders can dip into their personal reserves to make this happen if that is what it takes.  Think of what happened during WW II, everybody did their part, including the big corps, (although I believe at least some of that was Govt mandated). —Mike

      • Felix Grounds March 15, 2020 (11:28 pm)

        What would you suggest, and would you be willing to make these HARD decisions?

      • Ws res March 15, 2020 (11:56 pm)

        Admiral Dad, Inslee IS worrying about people dying. Look what has happened in Italy. Mu husband works in health care and he is proud that our governor is listening to the infectious disease experts. 

    • HS March 15, 2020 (10:19 pm)

      Grants for small businesses were set up with the Seattle Office of a economic Development as discussed in an earlier article.

      • WSB March 15, 2020 (10:31 pm)

        Many unfortunately are ineligible for what they have offered so far, but it’s just a start.

      • Wsres March 16, 2020 (8:29 am)

        This loan pays UPTO $10k if you qualify. Qualifying you have to be able to prove that your business has taken a hit, or rendered you unable to work. $10k won’t cover most business’ monthly expenses. 

  • junctioneer March 15, 2020 (8:16 pm)

    What exactly are the requirements for gatherings under 50? My searching skills must be poor because I can’t seem to find “previously announced criteria”, other than general guidelines you are always supposed to follow on the CDC’s website. Unless that’s it. 

    • Terri March 16, 2020 (8:12 am)

      Here is the link to the previous King County Health Officer order (March 11):

      The listed criteria for events with under 250 (now 50) participants:

      Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
      that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to
      attend (including employees);

      Social distancing recommendations must be met (i.e., limit contact
      of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer);

      Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic;

      Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees; and

      Environmental cleaning guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect
      high touch surfaces daily or more frequently). <a href=";

      • Terri March 16, 2020 (8:22 am)

        Sorry, that last link is extraneous.

        • junctioneer March 16, 2020 (9:09 am)

          Perfect, thanks!

  • Kadoo March 15, 2020 (8:20 pm)

    I’m guessing this means the West Seattle Y and other gyms will be closed. 

  • Trileigh March 15, 2020 (8:23 pm)

    WSB, you’re the BEST. Thank you so much, as always, for being part of the backbone of our community.

  • Bob March 15, 2020 (8:24 pm)

    Will gyms also be closed?I have not heard from the WS LA Fitness at all in regards to their plans, sanitation regiment, etc. After all this is over I’m thinking of making the switch to WSAC

    • WSB March 15, 2020 (8:28 pm)

      The governor’s announcement, which you see in its entirety above, suggests new guidance ahead for other businesses, so I think we’ll find out soon enough.

    • Bradley March 15, 2020 (11:55 pm)

      Gyms will be closed. I just spoke to the Westwood Village 24 Hour Fitness manager and he said they expect to lock their doors shortly after the press conference tomorrow.

  • Patrick Pimento March 15, 2020 (8:28 pm)

    what are the casinos doing?

  • M March 15, 2020 (8:50 pm)

    The Y should close. 

    • WSB March 15, 2020 (9:03 pm)

      Now that the King County order is out (again – that’s added above), they certainly will be affected too. Lots of following up to come.

  • kim March 15, 2020 (8:51 pm)

    And, our pets.  Next to Nature is offering curbside, and we discussed delivery service as a possibility.Yes, a bazillion thanks WSB/TR…you’re such a treasure.  We are really lucky to have you.

    • Calires March 15, 2020 (10:42 pm)

      I love how Next to Nature has added the extra counter between the cashier and the customer, keeping the 6 feet distance.  Simple thing that is really smart.

  • Timmy March 15, 2020 (8:52 pm)

    What a joke. Save the restaurants.. what about everyone else losing their jobs. Are you going to support them or independent contractors who can’t get unemployment?

    • Bradley March 16, 2020 (1:51 am)

      Saving lives is not a joke. These are temporary but extremely effective measures. You can still support your favorite restaurants by enjoying take out. That’s what me and my family will be doing, and often. You can also buy gift cards to help them out. Vulnerable people shouldn’t have to die so people can go to a bar or movie theater.

  • WSB March 15, 2020 (8:55 pm)

    OK – More from the King County Executive’s Office added above. Health and fitness clubs, theaters, specifically mentioned too.

  • Amy March 15, 2020 (9:04 pm)

    I’m really bummed about the gyms closing. Guess I’ll just sit around and get fat now? 😉

    • Ttt March 15, 2020 (11:58 pm)

      A tually keep exercising so your lungs are as healthy as they can be if you get the virus, you want to be able to fight it off.

      • Anon March 16, 2020 (7:05 am)

        I can testify that fighting COVID at home eliminates the appetite, so having a little extra fat now might be very helpful. The purpose of fat is to carry you through hard times. But yes, exercise in your home now, or walk/run in wide open outdoor spaces. You want your heart and lungs in top condition if you get the pneumonia part of the COVID. No joke.

    • TWST March 16, 2020 (6:40 am)

      Take up a new activity, like biking or running! The weather is supposed to be nice today :)

      • HS March 16, 2020 (9:13 am)

        Also free youtube exercise videos are great – yoga by Adrienne, Marni Ealton (no equipment) barre videos with Pop Sugar.

    • Ice March 16, 2020 (9:23 am)

      Nearly every fitness YouTuber is doing extensive videos on home workouts. There are lots of great ones to pick from. Eating a small excess of calories might also help your immune system, so please don’t beat yourself up if you gain any weight. Stay healthy and happy everybody.

  • Ugh March 15, 2020 (9:07 pm)

    would feel better if they made all places staying open have people tested since they cannot work from home or be closed to self quarantine. I know Seattle has good paid sick leave but people can feel great and still be carriers.

    • LB March 15, 2020 (10:12 pm)


    • J March 16, 2020 (7:13 am)

      Yeah, looks like people without any symptoms can shed a LOT of virus and infect a ton of people, just by breathing. You have to assume everyone is infected now. Keep your distance and we might slow this down a bit. It would be helpful to have testing… but you could be negative one day and positive the next, so even tests would not be perfect.

  • christopher ryan March 15, 2020 (9:14 pm)

    Dispensaries closing as well ? 

    • WSB March 15, 2020 (9:17 pm)

      The announcement says, “All other retail such as groceries, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, hardware stores, shopping centers, etc. may remain open provided they meet Public Health directives issued earlier.”

  • Mj March 15, 2020 (10:00 pm)

    As a member of anytime fitness I hope to be able to use the facility anytime.  

    • Felix Grounds March 15, 2020 (11:33 pm)

      We’re at the beginning of a devastating crisis..and you’re worried about your gym schedule?

  • Fool’s errand March 15, 2020 (10:29 pm)

     This is a broad and unnecessary overreach of our local government. Shame on Inslee, Constantine and Duchin. Wait for it…next step is a shelter in place order with National Guard enforcement. I am not afraid of Coronavirus but as of tonight I am officially afraid of my government. Pay very careful attention…

  • Allison Carver March 15, 2020 (11:22 pm)

    All gyms will be closed. I work at the West Seattle Y and we just received notification that based on this announcement they we be closed, at least starting tomorrow through 3/29. They are working to provide some online options soon (and I may try some facebook live broadcasts for my classes). Might also  be a good time to also dust off those evercise DVDs!  I have personally have taken dance classes online before through, which provides a great mixes of class content and styles, from studios both local and around the country. We’re gonna have to get really creative, friends. Stay safe, kind, healthy and resilient out there! xo

    • WSB March 15, 2020 (11:46 pm)

      We’ve received the Y’s announcement too and will publish it separately.

  • Nachobeaver March 15, 2020 (11:23 pm)

    Don’t worry Amy there’s no food in the grocery stores to get fat anyways😜

  • Gatewood neighbor March 16, 2020 (2:32 am)

    It’s amazing how many people are concerned about going to the gym or the restaurants. We are talking about people dying because of our actions…basic human decency. We are heading to mandatory lockdown just like in Italy because many people are so selfish that can only think on themselves. People are dying..,get it?

    • WSB March 16, 2020 (7:35 am)

      Please be kind rather than critical. Even for those of us with more than a few decades on the planet, no one has ever seen such a dramatic, abrupt change in daily life – at least, those of us who have lived their whole lives in the U.S. – and I consider most if not all of us to be in shock.

  • Alkene March 16, 2020 (7:21 am)

    [Duplicate post from open discussion]Mask shortages have reduced supervisors at Harborview Medical Center to having Food Service 1 & 2 personnel work their kitchen shifts without masks.Food Service workers participate mostly in the cleaning of kitchen equipment and utensils for subsequent preparation and delivery of meals, and clean all the used patient tableware. My wife returned home Sunday, 03/16/20, and informed me that they couldn’t provide her and all of her co-workers that fundamental PPE, which helps protect the patients, themselves, and each other, presumably until supply again exceeds room service and medical personnel consumption.After Dow Constantine stated that we should universally regard ourselves and everyone else as infected with COVID-19, I find this troubling.

  • anonyme March 16, 2020 (8:25 am)

    Note to restaurants: it would be very helpful if you could set up pre-payment options so that those in quarantine can order food and have it picked up by someone else – a volunteer, neighbor, etc.  Delivery services are just too expensive, and frankly, I don’t want a strange extra party handling my ready-to-eat food.  I’m really hoping Lee’s does this, as I’ve been isolated for 5 weeks now and really craving some Asian food.

  • WSB March 16, 2020 (10:04 am)

    Update – The gov/exec briefing will be at 11 am, time just changed. We’ll of course have a separate story atop the site with the stream as well as updates.

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