AP source: Inslee to ban large gatherings in Seattle area

Washington Governor Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Associated Press has learned Washington state’s governor will ban gatherings and events of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Jay Inslee has scheduled a news conference in Seattle for Wednesday.

The person who spoke about the decision late Tuesday was involved in the planning but spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The person said the ban would apply to King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, which are home to almost 4 million people.

The person said the order would not apply to workplaces and is not expected to include schools.

At least 24 people have died in Washington state from COVID-19, most in the Seattle metro area. There are more than 260 confirmed cases in the state, most in the three counties that would be affected by Inslee’s new order.