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.


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@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.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

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
New laws will tax the rich, offer aid to low-income workers

Inslee signs bill creating capital gains tax; foes are challenging it in court as unconstitutional.

Washington state case count since March 2020. WA Governor's Office
Pandemic pause: King County remains in Phase 3

No Washington state counties will be rolling back their phase under the… Continue reading

Courtesy of Washington Military Department
Washington gets mobile earthquake alerts

Washington state will have its own earthquake early warning system on May… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Northshore Fire Department Facebook
Sunday evening vehicle collision on Bothell Way proves fatal

Passenger in wreck was brought to the hostpital with serious injuries.

File photo 
A gray wolf.
Wolf population continues to make a comeback in Washington

The number of wolves in Washington state increased by 22%, marking the… Continue reading

file photo
Bothell man charged with murder after stabbing a neighbor in his apartment complex

Prosecutor’s charging documents claim the defendent said he stabbed an “anti-masker,”.

The state must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 2017 levels by 2028. By 2035, emissions must be below 20% of 2017 levels. The clean fuels program is scheduled to begin by Jan 1, 2023, provided the Legislature passes a transportation-spending package by then. File photo
State lawmakers approve key climate and environmental legislation

Bills target clean fuel standards and carbon emissions.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Top 10 issues in Washington state’s 2021 legislative session

Democrats used their majorities to muscle through social, economic, environmental and tax policies.

File photo
Governor gives tenants protections, reduces help for landlords

Landlord help is included in another bill, Inslee says; eviction moratorium to end June 30.

Most Read