Many countries including Belgium, France, and Italy have begun imposing bans on events over a certain capacity in order to curb the spread of the highly-contagious coronavirus, covid-19. Now, Washington state has become the first US state to follow suit. The state will reportedly ban events, aimed at concerts, sporting events and similar gatherings, that include gatherings of more than 250 people in the Seattle area in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
The areas effected by the ban are King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, encompassing Tacoma and Seattle and most of the state’s most populous metropolitan areas. A total of approximately 3.86 million people will be affected by the ban, out of the state’s total 7.5 million (according to 2017/2018 census data).
Writes The Hill, “The order would not prohibit people from going to work or school and will not apply to retail stores, according to the AP. So far, more than 115 public and private schools across Washington have shut down for at least a day due to the coronavirus.”
Washington has been hit the hardest by the virus in the US so far, with more than 260 confirmed infected and at least 24 deaths; though, most deaths have been linked to a Seattle nursing home whose residents have a higher mortality rate when faced with the virus.
A specific date range has not yet been disclosed, and will unlikely last until Beyond Wonderland PNW goes ahead in June. The Gorge is also outside of the listed event ban counties. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce the measure during a news conference later this morning.
Photo via Bala Sivakumar/Wikimedia Commons