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Bremerton, WA (March 31, 2020) – Mayor Greg Wheeler issued a stern message to non-essential businesses and residents today who are not complying with Governor Jay Inslee’s current “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.
“I applaud our businesses and residents who are taking this seriously and have taken the Governor’s stay-at-home order to heart,” said Mayor Wheeler. “However, I’m hearing how certain non-essential businesses are brazenly ignoring the order, staying open and telling their staff they have to work without protection in unhealthy and unsafe conditions. This is not acceptable. Additionally, some residents are continuing to host backyard barbeques and attend social events, which are not permitted under the Governor’s stay-at-home order,” said Mayor Wheeler.
“This situation is serious,” he said. “We know that the coronavirus can spread quickly if people get together in large groups and positive cases of COVID-19 can skyrocket if social distancing and other health measures are not followed. It’s important that residents and non-essential businesses obey the order and stay home to protect the lives of their loved ones, friends, and neighbors.””
Non-essential businesses that are open need to close immediately due to the state public health order in place. Governor Inslee has indicated that if those businesses continue to operate, they could be subject to penalties, including citing or revoking their licenses. They could also be referred to the state Attorney General’s office for potential civil and criminal charges as part of enforcement of the order.
During this time, residents are also expected to limit trips to basic needs, such as accessing health care, groceries, medications, or other essential activities. In most cases, residents should be complying with health directives at home.
“The stay-at-home order is not something that is voluntary or ‘suggested’ by the Governor,” said Mayor Wheeler. “The intent is to limit spreading the illness across the community and to protect human life. We all play a part in making that happen.”
Information on Governor Inslee’s order, what qualifies as an essential business, and reporting violations of the order can be found at coronavirus.wa.gov.