Good evening, my fellow Washingtonians.
I’d like to speak to you directly tonight about the COVID-19 pandemic; a pandemic that threatens to overwhelm our society without decisive action.
We have now confirmed that more than 2,000 Washingtonians have contracted the virus. There are likely thousands more that have not yet been diagnosed.
COVID-19 has taken more than 100 lives in our state, a number that will also continue to rise.
Our hearts ache for all of the Washingtonians and their families affected by this virus. As we move forward, we cannot forget the losses they have suffered. This is a human tragedy, on a scale we cannot project.
It’s time to hunker down in order to win this fight.
So, tonight, I am issuing a “Stay Home” order to fight this virus. This is Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. This includes a ban on all gatherings, and closures of many businesses, unless those businesses are essential to the healthy functioning of our community, or are able to let employees work remotely from home.
It is still safe to go outside using social distancing of six feet, but only for essential purposes. The grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses will remain open. This also does not prohibit people from merely going outside to enjoy a walk on a sunny spring day.
So life will go on, but for all of us in every part of Washington, with this in mind: Stay Home, Stay Healthy. The less time you spend out in public, the more lives we can save; the more time we can buy to fight the waves coming down on us now and in the immediate future.
Now I would like to talk to you about this order and what it means for you, your loved ones and our communities.
This order builds on other unprecedented steps we have taken to protect Washingtonians, including the closure of schools, restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses where people congregate. We have been…