Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)

Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)

Gov. Inslee loosens rules for bars, libraries and movie theaters

New rules come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide.

Gov. Jay Inslee eased a slew of restrictions Tuesday (Oct. 6) that will allow dining indoors with friends, browsing book racks in libraries and getting served in bars a little bit later into the night.

The new rules, which come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide, will permit alcohol sales in bars and restaurants up to 11 p.m. in counties, like King County, that are in Phase 2 of Inslee’s four-stage reopening plan. In addition, eateries will be able to seat as many as six at a table and a requirement they all be from the same household is being eliminated.

Other guidance issued Tuesday allows movie theaters and libraries to operate at 25% capacity for counties in the second phase with theaters moving to 50% capacity in the third phase.

And, the revisions will clear a path for a resumption of some high school sports and the return of real estate open houses for small numbers of people depending on a county’s stage of reopening.

“We wanted to do target things to show we can do things in a safe way,” Inslee said at an afternoon news conference.

Youth sports is an area with some notable changes. Whether a sport is allowed, and to what degree athletes can compete, depends on a combination of the risk category for the sport as listed in the guidance and the presence of COVID in the county in which it is to take place. The latter element is determined by the number of COVID cases per 100,000 residents in a two-week span.

For example, in counties with between 25 and 75 cases per 100,000, such as King County (which is at 53.9), league games will be allowed for low risk sports of tennis, swimming, and track and field, and moderate risk sports of softball, baseball, soccer and volleyball. Scrimmages and intrasquad competitions for high risk sports like football are allowed too. In all instances no spectators are allowed.

The changes come amid an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases statewide. Inslee said he’s hoping the upward surge is temporary and a result of Labor Day gatherings and people spending more time indoors due to days of smoky skies. With those past, he’s counting on residents getting “back on track knocking the numbers down again.”

“We want to recognize the progress we’ve made. We want to celebrate it,” he said of the relaxed rules. “We think it’s the right thing to do because we have found the right way to do these things safely. “

As of Oct. 6, King County has reported 23,268 positive cases of COVID-19 along with 769 deaths. Of those positive cases, the county reports that 1,673 came in the past two weeks.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot taken from Rosa Parks Elementary School website.
Eastside school wins National Blue Ribbon honors

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Redmond is the only Washington school to win.

Screenshot taken of a King County video showing Wilburton Trestle
King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
How a King County restaurant and farm work together to make a true farm-to-table experience

The Grange prepares sustainably produced meals pulled from the soil of the Snoqualmie Valley.

NW Carpenters Union members strike in front of downtown Bellevue construction site (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Carpenters union strike interupts some prominent Eastside construction projects

Union representative says members are prepared to strike “as long as it takes.”

Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)
Waste management expert knocks county’s plan to expand landfill

The waste management advocate said the decision to expand seems pre-determined despite assessment.

Participants in fundraiser previous event (courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter)
Walk To End Alzheimer’s returns to Eastside on Sept. 25

Alzheimer’s Association moves forward with plans for an in-person event.

Pixabay photo
Union carpenters to go on strike, expected to impact Eastside Microsoft projects

Members authorized strike after rejecting AGC offer for the fourth time.

file photo
The state’s hospitals face “unprecedented collapse” amid COVID uptick warn healthcare unions

Union spokeperson says understaffing was a problem even before the pandemic.

Most Read