OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee announced restrictions yesterday to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state, calling it “the most dangerous public health day in over 100 years in our state’s great history.” The Governor says indoor social gatherings with anyone outside of your household are prohibited beginning at midnight tonight, unless everyone quarantines for two weeks and tests negative for coronavirus. Outdoor social get-togethers should be limited to five people from outside your household. Healthcare facilities will remain open. Indoor restaurant and bar cutbacks begin Wednesday. In store retail including grocery stores are limited to 25% occupancy. Closed for indoor operations are fitness centers, movie theatres, bowling alleys, and museums. Weddings and funerals are limited to no more than 30 people. Schools, higher education and childcare are all exempt in this order and will follow the current guidelines in place. State health officials have reported a surge, with the highest ever number of single-day cases, 2,286 reported Friday. Yesterday alone, 32 new coronavirus positive test results reported in Lewis County. The county has recorded 837 people infected with coronavirus since March. 427 recoveries, meaning individuals testing positive were not hospitalized. State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy says in just the past week, hospitalizations for coronavirus have increased 40%. The University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluations projects cases could climb as high as more than 10,000 a day by the end of the year without the use of masks and social distancing. To help offset the financial impacts from the new restrictions, $50 million in tax revenue generated grants and loans, will be available to small businesses by the end of the year.

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