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Gov. Inslee to ban crowds of 250 or more in Seattle amid coronavirus outbreak


Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images

- Olympia, WA


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is planning to ban crowds of 250 or more in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties due to the coronavirus outbreak. Inslee will announce social distancing plans and new community strategies for Washington residents during a press conference on Wednesday.


A source confirms to KING 5 News in Seattle, WA that Inslee will ban gatherings and events of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area to try to contain the spread of coronavirus. The source who spoke anonymously about the decision said the ban would apply to King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, which are home to almost 4 million people. The person said the order would not prohibit the operation of workplaces and is not expected to include school closures.


Santa Clara County in California, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, on Monday had banned all gatherings of 1,000 people or more.



Inslee will be joined by city and county leaders at Wednesday's press conference, including:

Dow Constantine, King County executiveBruce Dammeier, Pierce County executiveDave Sommers, Snohomish County executiveJenny Durkan, mayor of SeattleCassie Franklin, mayor of EverettVictoria Woodards, mayor of Tacoma


On Tuesday, Inslee said the biggest need in Washington is to keep the virus from spreading.

”If you do the math, it gets very disturbing,” said Inslee. "In 7-8 weeks, there could be 64,000 people infected in the State of Washington if we don’t somehow slow down this epidemic. And the next week, it’s 120,000 -- and the next week, it’d be a quarter of a million."

Inslee recommends staying home from school or work if you feel sick and to wash your hands frequently.


"The most powerful force to restrain this epidemic are the individual decisions of seven million Washingtonians," said Inslee.

The governor has declared a state of emergency in Washington, which has the most coronavirus cases in the U.S.


By: AP, TEGNA Seattle

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