Stay-home order extends to May 31, with phased reopening plan

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday that Washington’s stay-home order has been extended through May 31, and has outlined a phased reopening that’s been broken down into four stages.

The reopening plan is based on Washington’s daily number of new confirmed cases, COVID-19 fatalities, and hospital data and projections. Gov. Inslee didn’t give specific dates for the four phases; rather, he said to expect each phase to last three weeks at least, so officials can determine whether it’s working.

Phase 1, which will likely last until early June, will ease some restrictions but generally retain strict physical distancing. Some business could be able to reopen in mid-May, which would include retail stores that can offer curbside pickup, car dealerships, car washes, pet walkers, housecleaners, and landscapers. Some recreation will be permitted, including boating, golfing, and hiking. Drive-in spiritual services will be allowed, with one household per vehicle. Travel will continue to be limited to essential trips only.

Phase 2 will begin to reopen a broader range of businesses; restaurants will be permitted to open at 50 percent capacity, with table sizes capped at five.

KISS Cafe owner Brenda Reed tells My Ballard that even half-capacity is better than none, and would be welcomed by many in the community.

“For people’s mental health we need to start bringing back some doses of meaningful social interaction,” Reed says. “But again, people need to understand that 50 percent capacity only generates 50 percent of revenue. Most of our other expenses remain at 100 percent. My landlord isn’t giving me a break, my bank isn’t giving me a break, Comcast isn’t giving me a break. Really, the only people helping me are our loyal customers who want to see us come through the other side of this.”

Photo by Brenda Reed

KISS Cafe’s regulars have really stepped in, helping Reed keep her employees on the payroll with the Ballard Drinking Team (BDT) quarantine challenge; 100 beers at KISS get you “on the team,” a tradition that’s amassed hundreds of BDT members over the years. Some cafe faithfuls have been taking the pandemic BDT challenge, carting away 100 different beers to complete their own lists at home.

On top of COVID-related business downturn, Reed has also dealt with the lost business from the ongoing construction of NW Market St in front of her cafe. Before COVID, business was already down about 25 percent from construction that wiped out parking spots and sidewalks all around the cafe.

“This is a double whammy,” Reed says, adding that now, more than ever, community dollars matter, and “where you spend them is going to have a massive impact on what the future of our communities look like.”

Phase 2 will also allow real estate, hair and nail salons, and in-person retail stores to reopen. Gatherings up to five people per week outside the immediate household will be permitted, as will more recreation such as camping, limited to five people outside the household per week.

Phase 3 will begin to allow indoor group sports and non-essential travel, but will limit gatherings at 50 people. This means restaurants will be permitted to reopen at less than 75 percent capacity, and gyms, movie theaters, museums, and libraries will all slowly reopen.

The last phase will look the most like “normal,” but with the caveat that physical distancing should be practiced when in public spaces. Nightclubs, concerts, and sporting events will also resume.

Some counties that weren’t as hard-hit by COVID-19 will be reopened more quickly, including Columbia, Garfield, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Kittitas, Ferry, Grays Harbor and Wahkiakum.

Photo: Gov. Jay Inslee on Facebook


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Paintking
Member
Paintking

Kim Jung Inslee is never going to do without. How’s that going for the rest of you? All government employees will get paid too. Doing without is always for the little people.

terryj
Member
terryj

could not care less

neighborhood
Member
neighborhood

I prefer Dimslee.

terryj
Member
terryj

you got him

SurlyAF
Member
SurlyAF

If you are doing without right now then you must have failed to be prepared. Sounds like you need someone to give you a fishing pole and teach you how to fish.

terryj
Member
terryj

its all good. i live like a King compared to the rest of the World. “your” my friends

coryclassic
Member
coryclassic

Inslee is moving the goal posts on reopening. What happened to flattening the curve? What about our hospital bed capacity? What will it be next month? Zero confirmed cases?
What about the people who simply can’t work from home or take time off? People who depend on working to survive?

Newton
Member
Newton

Where have you been?

Aurox
Member
Aurox

The goal has always been to control the spread of the virus because opening up will only cause greater harm if people don’t feel safe going out.

coryclassic
Member
coryclassic

At this point though more harm will come from the shutdown than the virus. Remember poverty kills. If you don’t believe so just look at death rates between poor communities and wealthy ones.
The working poor in our community are being thrown under the bus because the majority of people able to work from home or take time off don’t want to risk getting sick.
There is less and less evidence every day that says the virus is more dangerous than the shutdown.

Aurox
Member
Aurox

A depression is terrible and I want nothing more than to avoid one. That said people are still going to make their own decisions and a large amount are going to not go out if they don’t feel safe, so you have to control the virus to avoid a depression.

This is why I am for a wide-scale testing and tracing program, centralized quarantine, and giving assistance to those affected by this. You have to give people confidence they will be as safe as you can make them. You can’t just throw up your hands and say you have to go out and consume now.

coryclassic
Member
coryclassic

Completely agree. Even if Inslee said “we are all open” we would still have a phased opening since most people will still be too scared to leave the house. We would slowly return to normal with businesses competing to see who can be the cleanest and safest.

Aurox
Member
Aurox

Serious question, how do you prove which place is cleaning properly and which isn’t besides from having a testing and tracing program that can find the source of outbreaks?

Pork Pie
Member
Pork Pie
coryclassic
Member
coryclassic

Doing my part to achieve herd immunity…

kristinafalcone
Member
kristinafalcone

For herd immunity to work, 70% need to be exposed/infected at some point. Just you running around won’t do it.

mikedrop
Member
mikedrop

Wrong.

Aurox
Member
Aurox

Facts and viruses don’t care about your feelings Mikedrop

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