Washington state announces new restrictions to combat "raging" pandemic
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Sunday new restrictions to mitigate surging COVID-19 cases, as he warned the state is "in a more dangerous position than we were in March, when our first stay-at-home order was issued."
What he's saying: Inslee said if left unchecked, the "raging" pandemic "will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues, and keep people from obtaining routine by necessary medical treatment for non-COVID conditions."
"The time has come to reinstate some of the restrictions on activities statewide to preserve our well-being and to save lives."
The big picture: Under new measures on social gatherings that'll run from Monday at midnight through Dec. 14, indoor catch-ups with people outside the household will be prohibited unless quarantine conditions are met beforehand. Outdoor gatherings must be limited to five people.
- From Tuesday, gyms and some entertainment centers must close their indoor services.
- Retailers including grocery stores, along with personal services such as barbershops and salons, must limit indoor occupancy to 25%.
- From Wednesday, restaurants and bars will have to limit outdoor service to parties of five or fewer and indoor service will be prohibited.
For the record: In Washington state, more than 2,500 people died from COVID-19, 130,000 have tested positive and 9,400-plus have been hospitalized, official figures show.
- The state has seen "consistent increasing daily case counts, with over 2,000 cases a day over the weekend and average cases in the state doubling over the past two weeks," per a statement from the governor's office.