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Washingtonians ordered to stay home to slow COVID-19 spread

TACOMA, Wash.—COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Pierce County. Since the county’s first case was announced on March 6, the total has climbed to 126 cases as of March 23, including one death. Today March 23, Gov. Inslee issued a statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to slow the spread of COVID-19. It takes effect immediately and lasts for at least two weeks. Non-essential businesses must close in 48 hours.

“When people stay at home and away from others, it is a neighborly step to protect themselves and others,” said Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “With fewer cases over time, our healthcare system feels less strain and more people can get the care they need when they need it,” Chen said.

If you need non-urgent medical care, check with your healthcare provider to see about virtual care options. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have symptoms—fever, cough, shortness of breath—contact your healthcare provider to see if you need to be tested.

People at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19—60 and over, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions—can benefit from less time around others who can potentially make them sick.

Outside is still an option.

You will not have to stay indoors 24/7. You can still go out to run errands or go for a walk. When you are out and about, be sure to practice social distancing—stay six feet away from people not in your household.

People exempt from the order include:

Healthcare workers.

First responders.

Law enforcement.

Others who perform critical functions—store clerks, gas station attendants, public utilities, bus drivers, etc.

Restaurants that offer takeout and deliveries only may remain open. They must continue to follow standard food safety practices, maintain social distancing, and keep their dining rooms closed to comply with the governor’s previous order.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.

You and your family have safe options to stay socially connected. More time together at home means you can get creative about how to stay busy and have fun. Technology allows you to have video and voice conferencing with loved ones. Read more about how to maintain your social connections.

For up to date information and resources about the COVID-19 pandemic, go to

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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