COVID CHANGES: Governor loosens restrictions on movie theaters, restaurants/bars, libraries, school sports, more

3:06 PM: Last week, during a media briefing, Gov. Inslee said that instead of allowing counties to advance “phases,” he expected that he would continue announcing industry-by-industry advances. And that’s what he’s just done in another briefing this afternoon. Among other things, movie theaters will be allowed to reopen in Phase 2 counties – which is where ours is at – at reduced capacity. (We’ll be checking with the Admiral Theater about their plans.) And restaurants/bars will be allowed to extend alcohol service to 11 pm, instead of the 10 pm cutoff that’s been in place for a while, and “greater capacity at tables.” Some real-estate open houses will be allowed. Libraries will be able to open for 25 percent indoor capacity. And the governor also announced that more school sports will be allowed. We’re awaiting details on all of this and will add the document links when they’re available.

4:36 PM: Still awaiting most of the details; here are the sports guidelines, sent by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Added the archived video of the governor’s briefing, above.

4:50 PM: Here’s the governor’s news release with more details; regarding sports, here’s the WIAA’s news release. One more sports note – the governor’s new guidelines also address outdoor recreation, described as “races, bicycle tours and rides, runs, cross country skiing races, biathlons, canoe and kayak races, marathons, cross country running competitions, triathlons, and multi-sport competitions with more than 12 participants.” Still waiting to hear back on some specific inquiries, including the Seattle Public Library‘s response.

21 Replies to "COVID CHANGES: Governor loosens restrictions on movie theaters, restaurants/bars, libraries, school sports, more"

  • HS October 6, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    That’s great news!

  • Also John October 6, 2020 (5:00 pm)

    I don’t feel we’re anywhere near ready to loosen restrictions.           This is bad news that will only see a rise in Covid infections here. 

    • psps October 6, 2020 (5:36 pm)

      We were already nowhere near ready for the loosening that had already been done. But, with republicans refusing to provide support to families during a proper lockdown, Inslee is pretty much forced to take this ill-informed step so people can continue to earn a living and support their families the best they can. With any luck, we’ll have some non-criminal adults in charge next January.

  • Steph October 6, 2020 (5:09 pm)

    Are we considered a High, Moderate, or Low county right now based on the numbers? 

    • East Coast Cynic October 6, 2020 (5:55 pm)

      I think we are considered low, but I’m also worried about a large uptick in covid-19 infections with such a loosening in the absence of an effective vaccine.

    • wsresident October 6, 2020 (6:27 pm)


    • Sarra October 7, 2020 (8:24 pm)


  • TJ October 6, 2020 (5:41 pm)

    It’s about time. This should have happened months ago. It started with “flattening the curve” back in March, and that has turned into quite a open ended term. We need to let businesses get back to full strength and let people make their own decisions on what they want to do. 

  • beef October 6, 2020 (8:11 pm)

    as of 9/30/2020, King County was 53 cases/100,000. moderate. > 75 is high. < 25 is low.

    • ACG October 6, 2020 (8:49 pm)

      Thank you for that info!  I was wondering g what level we were currently at. 

  • Jack October 6, 2020 (8:35 pm)

    Love to see the Admiral Theater open again but the Studio’s are pushing back their big movies to as far back as 2022.  There’s  nothing to show.

  • Mom October 6, 2020 (9:30 pm)

    What about schools? My kids can go to restaurants, bars, and movies before school? Gimme a break. Where are our priorities. 

    • High Point October 7, 2020 (12:05 am)

      I imagine our priorities are for people to not get sick and die?

  • Waytogo October 6, 2020 (11:22 pm)

    Isn’t it interesting how Governor Inslee has elected to loosen restrictions 1 day before the gubernatorial debate???

  • Shawn October 7, 2020 (9:18 am)

    This is ridiculous. We have seen little improvement in months, at best we are treading water and the rest of the country is deep into a third wave. We’re doing maybe 10% of the testing we need to be doing and effectively no contact tracing. We don’t even have a DIY tracing app yet like some states are already running. We should be locking back down, not opening up even more. Inslee is letting the covid denialists push him around and I don’t understand why. 

  • Chris K October 7, 2020 (1:00 pm)

    I trust Inslee to follow the science and make the right data-driven decision.  He literally saved millions of lives this year with his deft handling of the pandemic response.

  • uncle loco October 7, 2020 (1:34 pm)

    I don’t care what Inslee says, I’m locking myself down until I die from something besides covid 19.

  • Stickerbush October 7, 2020 (2:09 pm)

    I cringe whenever I hear the phrase “follow the science” because it implies that there is no subjectivity involved in deciding policies around coronavirus mitigation. There is no science behind deciding that it’s suddenly OK to allow dining parties of 6 instead of 5. And it’s delusional to think that Inslee has saved millions of lives this year. 

  • anonyme October 8, 2020 (1:06 pm)

    Uncle Loco – thumbs up!

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