This article originally appeared on the Edmonds Patch
EDMONDS, WA — Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson has issued an emergency order telling the city to stay in their homes as it responds to the coronavirus outbreak. Under the order, everyone in Edmonds must remain at home unless they have an essential job or are out for a very specific, important reason. The order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and will stay in effect until further notice.
Under the order, residents can leave their homes if they are:
Visiting a doctor or getting emergency medical treatment or medicine.
Shopping for food or essential supplies.
Caring for a family member, the elderly, minors or other dependents.
Some essential workers, including doctors, trash collectors, grocery store workers and more will still be allowed to leave home for work. Residents also can go outside for some physical activity like a hike or a walk, but must keep a six foot space between themselves and any other people.
Nelson has issued a statement on the order, saying in part “it is only with such extraordinary precautions that we can hope to staunch the spread of this virus and look forward to a return to normal in the not-too-distant future.”
Anyone who is caught disobeying the order could face a reprimand, but law enforcement says the goal of the order is to encourage the public to comply of their own free will, for the safety of the community.
The sheriff says first priority is creating a healthy environment, not punishing violators:
“We are by no means going to go around and actively seek out individuals to see if they are complying with the order for the purpose of charging them with a crime; this is about education and public health. People need to go to the doctor, go to the pharmacy, pick up groceries, and that is OK. We are not trying to criminalize what would otherwise be normal behavior and daily activities any other time. We simply want people to listen to the order and stay at home if they don’t need to be out.”
Everett recently issued a similar order. There has been no statewide order, but Governor Inslee is making an announcement on Washington’s response to the coronavirus tonight.
Tonight, I will deliver a direct address to Washingtonians about our COVID-19 response.Watch live here at 5:30 PM: https://t.co/7zPFeWhCKt
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 23, 2020