March 24, 2020

Washington Governor Inslee’s Proclamation “Stay Home – Stay Healthy.”



On March 23, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25, “Stay Home – Stay Healthy.”  The Proclamation is effective immediately and remains in effect until midnight on April 6, 2020 unless extended.  The Proclamation prohibits all people in Washington state from leaving their homes or participating in gatherings of any kind regardless of size, and prohibits all non-essential businesses from conducting business, within certain enumerated limitations.  Violations of the Proclamation constitute a gross misdemeanor.

Required closures and exceptions

Effective at midnight on March 25, 2020, and until midnight on April 8, 2020, all non-essential businesses must cease operations except for basic minimum operations.  Essential businesses are encouraged to remain open but must establish and implement social distancing and sanitation requirements.

Essential businesses are those that fall into an essential sector.  Essential sectors in Washington are healthcare/public health, emergency services, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation and logistics, communications and information technology, community-based government operations, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, financial services, the chemical sector, and the defense industrial base.  Any sector not listed can petition to be added to the list.

Each essential sector has a list of enumerated essential workers.  Some essential workers include:

  • In the food and agriculture sector: workers supporting big box stores that sell groceries and essentials; farm workers to include truck delivery and transport; farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops, “and other agricultural inputs”
  • In the transportation and logistics sector: employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use
  • In the community-based government operations sector: construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and projects (including housing construction) for all essential facilities, services, and projects and for residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity; commercial retail stores that supply essential sectors, including hardware and home improvement, garden stores and nurseries that support food cultivation and production

“Basic minimum operations” are “the minimum activities necessary to maintain the value of the business’ inventory, preserve the condition of the business’ physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, and related functions.”

Workplace restrictions

The Proclamation does not prohibit working from home or other business activities that do not involve interpersonal interaction, such as operating a single owner business with no public interaction, or restaurants providing take-out and delivery services.  Proper social distancing and sanitation must still be established and implemented.

Application to individuals

Effective immediately, all people in Washington State may not leave their home or place of residence except to conduct essential activities or for employment in essential business services.  Essential activities include obtaining groceries, pet food, supplies needed to work from home, or products necessary to maintain safety and sanitation of the home; seeking medical care or medication; caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another residence; and engaging in outdoor exercise so long as appropriate social distancing practices are used.

Individuals are also prohibited from participating in public and private gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, regardless of the size of the gathering.  This includes weddings and funerals, but does not include gatherings solely including people who are part of a single household.

Additional Proclamations and/or extension of Proclamation 20-25 may be forthcoming.  We will endeavor to keep you advised as this very fluid situation develops.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Elizabeth Rosso at (503) 598-5537 or Peter Hicks at (541) 797-2079.

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