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Mayor Durkan Issues Statement on Governor Inslee’s Extension of “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order

Seattle (April 2, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement on Governor Inslee’s extension of statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which will remain in effect until May 4. The order was first announced on March 23 and bans all gatherings, closes all non-essential businesses unless employees can work from home, and requires all Washingtonians to stay home unless they are engaging in an essential activity.

“Social distancing is saving lives, and extending the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order is critical to continuing to flatten the curve. The City, County, and State took early action to encourage social distancing in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and the preliminary data shows that our efforts are working. Without a vaccine, social distancing is the best tool available to slow the virus. I urge all residents and businesses to comply with the Governor’s order and continue social distancing. It’s up to all of us to ensure the health and safety of our community and to protect our most vulnerable neighbors who are at higher risk for the virus.

“It’s critical to remember that while our efforts appear to be initially successful, we must be prepared for a continued surge in cases in the coming weeks. Our region is lucky to be home to some of the foremost minds in public health, and their research indicates that we have not yet reached the pandemic’s peak. I know that we’re living in an uncertain time, and that we’re all fearful for our loved ones and our neighbors. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we will get through this if we continue to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and look out for one another’s health and wellbeing.”

Earlier this week, the Institute for Disease Modeling issued two new reports with preliminary data that showed the effective reproductive number, or transmissions by infected person, decreased from the end of February, when it was 2.7, to 1.4 by March 18. The studies underscored the urgent need for continued social distancing, and the lasting effect it could have on the health and safety of Washington communities. While all data is preliminary, initial research indicates that the City, County, and State’s efforts appear to be decreasing and slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

The City of Seattle continues to operate with a majority of its workforce telecommuting, but has closed all libraries, the majority of parks programming, and canceled all permitted events. The City is evaluating ways to align its policies both internal and external with the Governor’s extension. 

Businesses and workers in the region are already feeling the impact of these social distancing measures. Mayor Durkan and the City of Seattle have worked to implement a series of actions that support artists, nonprofits, small businesses, and workers, including:  

The City has also created a comprehensive resource page for residents and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.