Serving Franklin County, WA

Governor orders closure of indoor bar service, entertainment areas

Mask requirements expanded to all "common" areas

OLYMPIA — The governor today followed Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s lead today, July 23, in cracking down on restaurants, bars and gyms, as well as expanding mask-wearing requirements.

During a press conference, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a shutdown of indoor service at bars effective July 30.

He also said bar and restaurant alcohol sales will not be allowed after 10 p.m., and ordered arcade, gaming and cardroom areas shuttered.

State Secretary of Health John Weisman added an expanded mask order, requiring face coverings to be worn in all “common areas” of businesses, colleges and public places.

Those areas include apartments, hotels, nursing and retirement homes, elevators and other areas, he said.

“It’s pretty much any time your outside of your house,” Weisman said, adding that residents should also wear a mask in their house if they have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Tighter rules were also ordered for restaurants, prohibiting eateries from allowing more than five people from sitting at the same table.

And to sit at a table, all customers must reside in the same home, the governor said, noting residents may not have dinner out with friends or extended family.

Gov. Inslee also rolled back the number of people a restaurant in a Phase 3 county is allowed to serve to just 50%,

Gyms will only be allowed to have five people inside at a time, if their county is in Phase 2, and are limited to 25% capacity if they are in Phase 3, under the new orders.

“These actions we’re taking today are certainly not an attempt to punish businesses,” Gov. Inslee said, adding that he is just trying to move the state toward “fewer, shorter and safer interactions.”

The new order also extended the moratorium on evictions until at least Oct. 15.

The governor also turned his attention to weddings and funerals, rolling back previous reopenings.

Under the new orders, weddings and funerals will be permitted at 20% facility capacity. But receptions will not be allowed in Washington state.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Author photo

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


Reader Comments(1)

JCarey writes:

Why are we standing for this in Franklin County? The Governor and the Health Department don't make laws! The mask is a fraud- the CDC says it doesn't work, and the testing is being faked- people who go to testing site, sign up to get tested, but leave before they get swabbed receive a letter or call a few days later telling them they have COVID-19! Report this if its happening to you!