On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a shelter in place order, but what does that mean? Simply, it means do your part to STAY AT HOME as much as possible during this outbreak of the coronavirus in our state and throughout the world. This does not mean that you cannot leave your house to walk, run, bike, or otherwise exercise outside. However, if you do that, you must stay AT LEAST SIX FEET away from any other people outside.
You can also leave your house for essential activities: grocery shopping, trips to the pharmacy, gas stations, take out only food (but delivery is also an option), and seeing a doctor or medical professional.
Public and private gatherings (parties, concerts, churches) are strictly prohibited. This includes in your own home or backyard.
If you are working in a non-essential job, and you can work at home, do it. In fact, you have to stay home and work at home if you can. If you've been laid off, see our previous blog post on financial resources for those out of work during the crisis: https://www.giantlegal.net/blog/coronavirus-financial-relief-washington-state.
But, what is an essential job? Each category contains examples only (the categories have many jobs listed):
So what if I'm a business owner, and I don't fit an essential category? This is tricky. If you can work at home, do it. If you can go to a delivery model, do that. I've seen small retailers use social media and the internet to sell clothing, art, and jewelry online. That is all allowed. If you are doing that, customers should not meet you to pick up items - they must be delivered, and you must limit the number of employees in your business or warehouse to handle online and phone traffic, as well as mailing to only those that are essential.
Gyms and fitness professionals can offer free or paid training through YouTube or Zoom or members' only portions of websites. Artists and writers can use Patreon or subscription based options, and writers especially can freelance.
If you are working at home, you may want to forward your business mail to your residence. You are still currently allowed to pick up mail at your business while following social distancing rules.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU ARE SICK, FEEL SICK, OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE CORONAVIRUS, STAY HOME.
For more information contact us or see the Washington State coronavirus resource website: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed.
All blog posts are written by members of the GIANTlegal team, unless otherwise indicated. Information contained in our blog does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.