Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about the state’s actions in response to COVID-19 on Thursday. (TVW)

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about the state’s actions in response to COVID-19 on Thursday. (TVW)

Inslee warns of stay home order as COVID cases rise

The governor urges young people, who are not getting infected the most, to curb their social habits.

Gov. Jay Inslee warned Thursday (July 16) that he could reimpose a stay home order in the near future if an alarmingly fast spread of the virus is not halted.

Inslee said he “cannot rule out another stay home order this year… maybe the not too distant future” if each of us do not adhere to rules to wear a mask, maintain physical distance and limit our contacts.

On the same day the state recorded another substantial increase in new coronavirus cases, Inslee ordered a reduction of the size of social gatherings allowed in counties in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. Starting July 20, no more than 10 people can be at a social gathering, down from 50. Spiritual services, weddings and funerals are exempt from this change.

Inslee left intact the five-person maximum in counties in Phase 2.

Inslee also announced a ban on live entertainment, indoor and outdoor, for counties in the third phase of reopening. The change, which also starts July 20, will affect 17 counties that have reached that phases.

Inslee’s new guidance on social gatherings mirrors a recommendation in a report of the White House coronavirus task force obtained and published by the Center for Public Integrity, an investigative news nonprofit.

To combat a surge in the positivity rate, the White House task force also alls for continuing the governor’s statewide mask mandate and reducing social gatherings.

Inslee’s moves come amid a significant surge in the spread of the virus which health experts say is a result of large social interactions. Many involve young people, who now account for the largest bloc of new cases.

While they may become infected and show little signs of illness, Inslee said, they can spread to older friends and relatives. Now, he said, a birthday party or a barbecue can be dangerous, even deadly.

“Somehow we really need folks in this age group to help us,” he said. “We are simply seeing behavior that is too risky. I am seeing it. It’s very troubling to me.”

Inslee said if the trends continue, he could soon reimpose restrictions on bars and restaurants as well as bowling alleys and other recreational activities.

The governor sounded a similar alarm Tuesday when he put the brakes on any further reopening of the state by barring any county from advancing in his four-stage approach until July 28.

Statewide, as of July 16, there have been 44,313 coronavirus cases recorded since late January and 1,427 deaths. In King County, the tally of confirmed cases had reached 12,592 as of last week, including 621 fatalities.

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman said paying attention to social distancing is “a full-time job” during the governor’s press conference on COVID-19 on Thursday. (TVW)

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman said paying attention to social distancing is “a full-time job” during the governor’s press conference on COVID-19 on Thursday. (TVW)

Secretary of Health John Wiesman said the state is starting to see the impact of the 4th of July weekend, as well as other social gatherings, including birthday parties and cocktail parties.

“The bottom line is our attention to this can’t be a part-time job,” he said. “Every interaction we have, we have to think about doing it safely.”

Herald writer Joseph Thompson contributed to the report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Opening night of Clam Lights, Dec. 6, 2019 at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. File photo/Haley Ausbun
No Clam Lights as city plans smaller lighting displays at Coulon, downtown

The city was facing both COVID-19 health concerns and financial restraints, but will still be able to provide some holiday lighting cheer

Long time board member Pam Teal with a child at Meadow Crest Early Learning Center, 2018. Courtesy photo.
Director Pam Teal announces RSD board departure, district looking to fill vacancy

Renton School Board Director Pam Teal has served on the board since 2009

city of renton city hall
Renton proposes six month deadline to remove hundreds staying at Red Lion Inn COVID-19 shelter

As a result of the fight over the county’s de-intensification shelter, which provides housing for homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic and caused an increase in public safety services in the spring, Renton is introducing code to create stricter guidelines for all homeless shelters

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

File photo
Snow Lake, located near Snoqualmie Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Washington releases new forest plan

It outlines ways the state will protect and maintain forest health.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. August 2018, when several district unions, including Renton Education Association, bargained for new salaries in response to the McCleary decision.
Renton teachers union files labor complaint against district

The REA claims district is failing to address health and safety guidelines; district says it continues to work with unions to provide safe and healthy environment

Crime web teaser.
Renton man stabs, kills 11-year-old brother

The man chased his brother down the street in broad daylight, attacked him on the sidewalk.

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County Council passes $12.59 billion biennial budget

King County Council on Nov. 17 passed a $12.59 billion biennial budget… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Boeing employees check on some of the parked MAX planes at the Renton plant where they are assembled, Spring 2019.
FAA rescinds grounding of Renton-made 737 MAX

The news is good for Renton, as possible job losses continue to loom over the local Boeing factory as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read