A “closed” sign at Jackson’s restaurant on Cole Street in downtown Enumclaw. Sound Publishing file photo

A “closed” sign at Jackson’s restaurant on Cole Street in downtown Enumclaw. Sound Publishing file photo

Governor extends restrictions on businesses and gatherings

It’s been a month since the governor imposed the new rules. And the pandemic has only gotten worse.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday (Dec. 8) he is extending through the holidays, to Jan. 4, statewide restrictions on businesses and social gatherings intended to curb spread of the coronavirus, as key pandemic metrics continue to worsen locally and across Washington.

“Just like thanksgiving, all of us are going to have an opportunity to save lives while continuing to be responsible and not have large gatherings,” Inslee said during a televised news conference. “It was the right thing to do in November. It will be the right thing to do in December.”

He’s also adding another $50 million to the state’s $135 million relief fund for affected businesses.

The newest rules — which prohibit indoor dining and closed gyms, movie theaters and other businesses — took effect in November. They were previously set to expire Dec. 14.

At the time they were imposed, the governor called it the “most dangerous public health day” the state had faced in 100 years. Later in November, Inslee announced the state would more than double an economic relief package for businesses and workers.

Early data show the spread of the virus may be slowing, but it’s too early to tell, Inslee said. It could take another week to see if cases rose due to Thanksgiving gatherings.

“Our sense is that we have decreased the acceleration, and that’s good news,” state Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman said. “At the time the governor implemented these rollbacks, we were accelerated very quickly over just a matter of days. Now we need to exercise the patience of giving the data enough time to see if we are indeed approaching a plateau or not.”

Statewide, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID are still on the rise.

The virus is spreading especially at long-term care homes, where residents are most vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID.

Inslee’s announcement came as state and county leaders were preparing for the first shipments of a COVID vaccine.

The state anticipates 219,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 182,000 doses from Moderna by the end of the month, Wiesman said.

With limited early supply, the first doses will go to high-risk health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

It’ll take weeks to vaccinate everyone in those groups, Wiesman said.


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