More Positive Tests of COVID-19 At Bellingham Nursing Center

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

With 2,221 COVID-19 cases in Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee has officially introduced a shelter-in-place, "stay home, stay healthy order".

Inslee's announcement followed a similar move by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown earlier in the day to reduce person-to-person transmission of the new coronavirus.

"We want to get back to normal as soon as possible", Inslee said. "That's what we're doing". An outbreak at the Life Care Center of Kirkland infected more than 82 residents. It expands previous actions taken by Inslee last week that ordered the statewide closure of bars, dine-in restaurants, and entertainment and recreation facilities and banned large gatherings. King County accounted for over half the state's cases with 1,170 confirmed and 87 deaths. In a written statement, Inslee said he applauded Boeing's decision "to implement an orderly shutdown and continue to pay its workers during this hard time".

The order, which could be extended, requires every state resident to stay home unless they are involved in an essential activity.

Inslee banned gatherings of 250 or more people on March 13 and later dropped that to 50 or more people.

The order also means that only essential businesses can remain open.

The long list of essential businesses that will remain open includes grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations.

The definition of "essential" businesses includes a distinct West Coast flavor by including cannabis retailers, ferries and laundromats.

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Industries that can argue they are essential can request a special designation as an essential business. "If you feel like going for a walk, gardening, going for a bike ride, we consider these things essential activity too for everyone's physical and mental health. We all just need to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet to protect ourselves and others everywhere, all the time". Like those, Washington will be shuttering certain businesses and urging people to stay home.

The ordinance applies to all gatherings, including weddings and funerals. The order's prohibition on gatherings and leaving home unless necessary takes effect immediately.

A violation of an emergency order issued by the governor is a gross misdemeanor.

A 27-year employee at the company's plant in Everett died of the disease over the weekend, according to the paper. At least 35 COVID-19 deaths are linked to the facility. Boeing's Renton plant was already idled as a result of the ongoing FAA grounding of the 737 Max airplane.

Information provided by The Office of The Governor.

"We know life will look different tomorrow in Washington", Inslee said. Andy Billig, Sen. Mark Schoesler, Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins and Rep. JT Wilcox. "We must work together, support each other and stay positive".

That's almost five times the amount of confirmed cases reported on Friday.

"I am fully supportive of the Governor's decision to issue a "stay at home" order". He said during an address Monday, "we've been thoughtful and deliberate in making these very tough choices ... but people still aren't practicing these precautions and that is one of the reasons we have to take these steps".

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