EDMONDS, Wash. - More communities across Washington are pushing for Governor Jay Inslee to announce a statewide stay-at-home order. Meanwhile, two cities in Snohomish County already have the mandate in effect as a precaution against COVID-19.
City of Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson issued the stay-at-home order, which took effect late Sunday night. The order allows for essential activities like a trips to the grocery store, gas station and bank as well as medical appointments and care for a family member at another household. Restaurants are still allowed to offer delivery and take-out orders.
The order also allows outdoor activity like running, hiking and bicycling as long as people stay six feet apart.
Some people took a walk on their lunch break Monday in Edmonds.
“He hasn’t outlawed that yet, so I’m going to do it. I need my exercise. I’m an old guy,” said Edmonds resident John Civiello.
“It’s great to see that social distancing is working. We just needed to get out of the house and go on a walk. That’s how we cope with all of this,” said Nick Bresolin during an afternoon walk with his wife.
Judging by the empty streets during Edmonds’ lunch hour, people took heed to the rule.
“It’s absolutely nobody here. I mean, you can look down there for three blocks and see two people. Normally it’s much busier than that,” said Civiello.
“Full of cars. Full of cars, businesses open, people would be hanging out at the corner of Starbucks right down the road. But, there’s nobody. You just see people walking. It’s eerie,” said Bresolin and his wife, Kayla.
Mayor Nelson is urging more people to take COVID-19 and the precautionary measures against it seriously.
“We have the oldest population in Snohomish County. 25 percent are seniors and are at higher risk,” said Nelson. “We all need to do our part to protect our seniors.”
The mayor of Everett echoed the same call to action. The City of Everett began its stay-at-home order Monday afternoon. Mayor Cassie Franklin said the order came after more people tested positive for the virus over the weekend, bringing Everett’s total cases to 144 as of Monday.
“If we don’t act now, it’s going to get so much worse,” said Franklin.
“I’m just glad that we’re doing it because we have to get control of this virus,” said Civiello.
“It’s needed at this point. Especially with the possibility of the hospitals being overrun in a couple weeks,” said Bresolin.
The Edmonds Police Chief said violating the order is a misdemeanor offense, which could result in 90 days in jail and a fine.
Snohomish County health officials say drive-thru COVID-19 testing is available by appointment for "high-risk" residents with symptoms. Click here for more information.