Certain retailers have been identified as essential for the public good in the statewide Stay-at-Home order that Governor Jay Inslee issued this week.
The sweeping legal order meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus asks residents to minimize contact except for essential needs such as doctor visits, obtaining pharmacy products and replenishing food supplies and household needs. The list of essential businesses is here.
The order is set to last for a minimum of two weeks and currently would end at midnight on April 6. You can watch the Governor’s announcement here.
In his announcement, Inslee said he expected residents to voluntarily comply but added that the order can be enforced by law if necessary. Residents can move about outside but are urged to maintain appropriate social distances of at least six feet and refrain from gathering in large crowds. It bans all social, spiritual and recreational gatherings.
Governor Inslee urged residents to lead as normal a life as possible but discouraged the tendency of some shoppers to hoard necessities that have resulted in temporary shortages in many stores.
In keeping with the order, most Washington Retail employees are working from home but are committed to providing normal services to the membership. WR also has established an updated online Retailer Resource Guide to help retailers navigate through the demands or the Governor’s order and from the impacts of the virus pandemic. Go here to watch and listen to a webinar WR hosted on Running Your Business during the outbreak.
Though the order has forced some retailers to close and others to make sacrifices, the industry has adjusted for the needs of customers. Many groceries have reserved special hours so that older customers who are most vulnerable to the virus can shop in smaller groups. Major online retailers have emphasized giving top priority to orders for medical supplies.
Pharmacies have donated their parking lots as COVID-19 testing centers.