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Gov. Inslee, mayors urge people to stay home at cost of tourism dollars

Gov. Inslee warned Washingtonians on Friday to stay home and enjoy the weather there.

“We still believe that going on a walk around the block at your house makes sense,” Inslee said after urging people to refrain from congregating at trail heads or parking lots to enjoy the weather this weekend.

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He acknowledged that it’s not easy with the Easter and Passover holidays at this time, but it’s important to keep a safe distance from one another.

“We do not want to have stories of Easter or any other get-together of people getting infected,” Inslee said. “Is all it takes is one person at one get-together.”

The mayors of Yakima and Ocean Shores joined Gov. Inslee to speak about what their communities are experiencing during the stay-at-home order.

Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler said, “We love you, but please don’t come visit us now.”

The mayor also said the city has enacted a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m.

The mayor of Yakima, Patricia Byers, echoed the same sentiment, urging people to support the local wine industry by visiting once it’s safe to do so.

“We love our tourists, but this is not the time to come,” Byers said. “We’re asking you not to do that right now to help protect our families and our communities.”

The same message was echoed from the San Juan Economic Development Council and Dishman Hills Conservancy in Spokane. Now is not the time to visit.

Inslee was asked if he would extend the stay-at-home order past May 4. He didn’t rule it out, but said they would look at the data to make that decision.

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“What we are doing it is working,” Inslee said. “This is a worthwhile investment of community spirit.”

The governor spoke to freedom of speech and critics of the stay-at-home order when it was revealed a city council member was speaking out against the action.

“When you ask who you should listen to, frankly it’s not a city council person. It’s a physician, it’s a public health exert,” Inslee said.

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