Governor Inslee announced additional safety measures to be implemented beginning Monday, November 16 at 11:59 PM and will remain in effect until Monday, December 14.
The modified restrictions of restaurants, however, will take effect Wednesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM. These additional safety measures were announced in response to dramatic increases in COVID-19 activity as measured in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. This statewide increase follows similar trends across the country.
“Unfortunately, the disease activity has increased to a level that prompts additional safety measures to be taken across the state. In Yakima, we know these additional safety measures will have a deep impact to our local businesses. The best thing we can do to support our businesses and community members is to stop all unnecessary interactions with individuals outside of your household and come together, like we have before, to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.” Said Andre Fresco, Executive Director of Yakima Health District
The additional safety measures will be implemented around gatherings, restaurants and bars, religious services, entertainment and fitness facilities. For the full list reference Governor Inslee’s announcement here. Activities not included in the modified restrictions should follow current guidance.
“We still have several months before a vaccine will be widely available, but we also know that each and everyone of us has the power to help limit the spread of disease in our community. We all must recommit to staying at home as much as possible, wearing a mask anytime we are in public or with someone from outside of our household, washing hands frequently, sanitizing surfaces frequently, testing when sick or exposed to others with COVID-19, and following isolation and quarantine recommendations. By following these measures, we can collectively prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, optimize safety of our schools that are currently open, and improve overall safety in our communities so we can once again progress towards reopening. We have done this before, and we can do it again,” said Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer Yakima Health District.
The announcement of these additional safety measures will likely cause stress, anxiety, and hardship among our community. Community members should make a point of checking in with their loved ones to ensure they are getting the support that is needed. If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, the Washington State Department of Health has set up the Washington Listens line at 1-833-681-0211. If you or someone you know is in need of more specialized support from a professional, contact your primary care provider or call 2-1-1 to help find a provider that will best suit your needs.
There are many resources in the community that can provide additional support related to rent relief, wage support, local businesses assistance, food assistance, energy bill assistance and many other types of assistance. Please call 2-1-1 to get connected to these resources.
If you are a community member or organization that would like to contribute financially, please donate to one of the many organizations in Yakima that are working tirelessly to ensure all of our community members are receiving the support that they need.