Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)

Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)

Gov. Inslee loosens rules for bars, libraries and movie theaters

New rules come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide.

Gov. Jay Inslee eased a slew of restrictions Tuesday (Oct. 6) that will allow dining indoors with friends, browsing book racks in libraries and getting served in bars a little bit later into the night.

The new rules, which come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide, will permit alcohol sales in bars and restaurants up to 11 p.m. in counties, like King County, that are in Phase 2 of Inslee’s four-stage reopening plan. In addition, eateries will be able to seat as many as six at a table and a requirement they all be from the same household is being eliminated.

Other guidance issued Tuesday allows movie theaters and libraries to operate at 25% capacity for counties in the second phase with theaters moving to 50% capacity in the third phase.

And, the revisions will clear a path for a resumption of some high school sports and the return of real estate open houses for small numbers of people depending on a county’s stage of reopening.

“We wanted to do target things to show we can do things in a safe way,” Inslee said at an afternoon news conference.

Youth sports is an area with some notable changes. Whether a sport is allowed, and to what degree athletes can compete, depends on a combination of the risk category for the sport as listed in the guidance and the presence of COVID in the county in which it is to take place. The latter element is determined by the number of COVID cases per 100,000 residents in a two-week span.

For example, in counties with between 25 and 75 cases per 100,000, such as King County (which is at 53.9), league games will be allowed for low risk sports of tennis, swimming, and track and field, and moderate risk sports of softball, baseball, soccer and volleyball. Scrimmages and intrasquad competitions for high risk sports like football are allowed too. In all instances no spectators are allowed.

The changes come amid an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases statewide. Inslee said he’s hoping the upward surge is temporary and a result of Labor Day gatherings and people spending more time indoors due to days of smoky skies. With those past, he’s counting on residents getting “back on track knocking the numbers down again.”

“We want to recognize the progress we’ve made. We want to celebrate it,” he said of the relaxed rules. “We think it’s the right thing to do because we have found the right way to do these things safely. “

As of Oct. 6, King County has reported 23,268 positive cases of COVID-19 along with 769 deaths. Of those positive cases, the county reports that 1,673 came in the past two weeks.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

King County Executive Dow Constantine (Screenshot from King County website)
King County Executive announces million in in affordable housing funding for construction and preservation

Several Eastside organizations and projects are slated to receive funding.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, who pushed for broadband funding in Washington schools. (Screenshot from murray.senate.gov)
American Rescue Plan Act funding approved for broadband investments in WA schools

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray pushed for the funding, which will benefit several King County school districts.

Courtesy photo
State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

Sen. Mona Das, D-47
Kent Democratic Sen. Mona Das proposes 1% cut in state sales tax

Starting in 2023; Republicans voice support for Senate Bill 5932

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

An Axon body-worn police camera. Courtesy photo
Bellevue Police Department talks police reform and body worn cameras with community

The department will continue community discussions regarding police reforms and the use of BWC’s.

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

Screenshot of Bellevue Police Twitter video of landslide wreckage
City of Bellevue officials are working to get Somerset Neighborhood residents displaced by landslide back into their homes

The investigation into what caused the broken water main might take weeks, if not months.

Most Read