That means indoor restaurant dining is still off-limits through at least Jan. 11. And New Year’s Eve bashes remain banned, unless you limit your celebration to people in your immediate household or your party is held outdoors.
The ongoing restrictions mean entertainment venues — such as movie theaters and bowling alleys — will also remain shuttered. Gyms will stay closed as well, though retail shops can continue operating at 25% capacity. The 25% occupancy restriction also applies to grocery stores, hair salons and barber shops.
The weeklong extension of coronavirus restrictions comes as daily case counts have started to decline from where they were a few weeks ago. But those recent declines haven’t reversed the skyrocketing trends seen in November.
New cases of coronavirus have dropped from a 7-day average of about 3,000 new cases a day statewide at the beginning of December to a 7-day average of about 2,200 new cases a day on Dec. 19.
The state health department said the latest round of restrictions on businesses may have helped slow the spread of the virus in recent weeks.
As of Dec. 29, there had been 231,724 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington state, according to the health department. More than 14,000 people in the state have been hospitalized with the disease and 3,369 people have died.
Health care workers and people in long-term care facilities started receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this month, but the vaccine is not yet available to the general population due to limited supply. This week, the state Department of Corrections began vaccinating prison staff and some high-risk prisoners, after a series of outbreaks at prisons across the state.
In a press release, Inslee urged people to continue keeping their distance from others and to keep wearing face masks.
His office said state officials are working on a plan that would allow businesses to safely reopen. That plan is expected to be released next week.
The Department of Health is working on a new website that will help Washingtonians figure out where they fit in the vaccination rollout and enable them to receive notification when their vaccine phase opens.
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