Lewis County community won't recognize governor's new Covid restrictions

A small town in Lewis County is still allowing indoor dining despite Gov. Jay Inslee's new restrictions to fight the spread of Covid-19

The Mossyrock council voted on Nov. 18 to allow businesses to continue operating as they were before the governor's latest order until “sufficient COVID-19 information and data is presented to the City that establishes a state of emergency exists within the City.”

The ordinance, however, does not shield restaurants from facing citations or fines from the state for violating the new restrictions. 

Council members said they voted in favor of the ordinance because they believe the town of about 800 people has far fewer cases than other areas and shouldn't be held to the same restrictions as bigger cities with higher caseloads. 

RELATED: Businesses fined, warned over COVID-19 mask violations

Because Covid-19 case data isn't broken down by towns, it's unclear if Mossyrock has far fewer cases - or any at all. But Lewis County is seeing an uptick in cases like almost every other county in Washington and across the country. 

As of Wednesday (Dec. 2), Lewis County has reported 1,245 cases, 81 hospitalizations and 17 deaths, according to the state Department of Health's Covid-19 dashboard

Inslee announced the new rules on Nov. 16. They include the following: 

  • Indoor social gatherings with people outside your household are prohibited, unless you quarantined for 14 days prior, or quarantine for 7 days and have a negative COVID-19 test
  • Outdoor social gatherings must be limited to 5 people from outside your household  
  • Restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service. Outdoor dining for to-go services are allowed, but must follow outdoor dining restrictions.
  • Tables are limited to 5 people for outdoor dining. Restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18
  • Wedding and funerals receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
  • In-store retail, including grocery stores, must be limited to 25% indoor capacity and must close common areas. Food court dining must close.
  • Religious services are limited to 25% indoor occupancy or no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band or ensemble can perform during service. Soloist are permitted to perform. Facial coverings must be worn at all times. 
  • Long-term care facilities outdoor care visits are allowed. Exceptions for essential support person or end-of-life care. 
  • Youth and adult sporting activities are limited to outdoor only, intrateam practices and masks are required for all athletes.  
  • Bowling centers must close indoor service 
  • Fitness facilities and gyms are to close for indoor service. Outdoor fitness classes may continue, but still follow outdoor gathering restrictions. Drop-off childcare will close. 
  • Misc. venues: all retail activities and business meetings are prohibited.  Professional training and testing that cannot be done remotely is allowed. Occupancy in meeting rooms are limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. 
  • Movie theaters must close indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are allowed.  
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums must close indoor service 
  • Real estate open houses are not allowed. 
  • All childcare services, K-12th grade and higher education is exempt from the new restrictions and will also continue with current guidance measures in place.