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What Gov. Inslee's new social distancing order means for you

Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen
by Anthony Chen03/16/2020 3:18 p.m.
Updated: 03/16/2020

We must minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Pierce County. On March 16, Gov. Inslee announced emergency strategies to increase social distancing.

We understand these actions present challenges for everyone. The state compiled a list of resources for businesses and workers.

Effective March 16:

  • Events with more than 50 people aren’t allowed until further notice.
  • Events with fewer than 50 people are discouraged. They are prohibited if you don’t follow the CDC’s social distancing and disease prevention measures.

Many businesses must close until March 31:

  • Bars.
  • Dance clubs.
  • Fitness and health clubs.
  • Theaters.
  • Bowling alleys.
  • Non-tribal card rooms.
  • Museums.
  • Art galleries.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Tattoo parlors.
  • Barbers.
  • Hair salons.
  • Nail salons
  • Any other entertainment, leisure and non-essential service establishments.

COVID-19 webpage on laptopFood service establishments can’t provide dining room service but can stay open for drive-through, takeout and delivery. On-site food service and related activities are allowed for childcare and school-based food programs for K-12 schools.

Grocery stores and pharmacies should and may remain open, provided they observe COVID-19 prevention measures.

All other retailers must ensure environmental cleaning and designate an employee to implement a social distancing plan.

Under the order, impacted events include but are not limited to:

  • Community.
  • Civic.
  • Public.
  • Leisure or sporting events.
  • Parades.
  • Concerts.
  • Festivals.
  • Conventions.
  • Fundraisers.
  • Similar activities.

We are updating our guidance documents to reflect the Governor’s order. Please check back frequently.

Director of Health Dr. Anthony Chen

by Anthony Chen

Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, is the Director of Health at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and chief health strategist for Pierce County.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.