Gov. Jay Inslee (D) ordered Monday that the residents of Washington state stay at home as much as possible as the coronavirus outbreak continues to hit the state hard.
Inslee announced the stay-at-home order in a live televised address to the state, saying residents have to remain home unless they are “pursuing an essential activity,” including grocery shopping, doctor appointments or essential work duties.
All gatherings of people in public and private groups will be banned, including weddings and funerals.
“This is a human tragedy on a scale we cannot yet project,” Inslee said. “It’s time to hunker down in order to win this fight.”
The order will go into effect immediately and last for at least two weeks, the governor said. He added that the order is “enforceable by law.”
“The fastest way to get back to normal is to hit this hard,” the governor said during his address.
All nonessential Washington businesses will need to close within 48 hours. The state defines essential workplaces as restaurants for take-out and delivery, pharmacies, food banks, convenience stores, banks and laundromats, The Seattle Times reported.
The Washington governor assured residents in a tweet that they can still go outside.
“Take a walk. Ride a bike. Garden. But you must remain six feet away from everyone at all times,” he posted.