Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee addressed the citizens of Washington state yesterday, March 23rd, to announce he would be signing an order requiring all non-essential workers stay home. This meant that non-essential businesses, unless they could be operated from home, would need to be temporarily closed.
Not all states maintain the same list of essential businesses and workforce members. Here is the one currently being used by the State of Washington:WA-EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers-2020-03-23
Relief and economic assistance efforts are being and have already been put forth to support businesses and workers impacted by these and previous social distancing school and restaurant closure orders. They include:
- Some utilities have promised not to impose penalties or issue shut-off orders due to lack of payment for the immediate future
- Some banks and mortgage companies have promised not to impose penalties due to lack of loan repayments for a month and in some cases more
- Both personal and business low-interest rate loans are being made available by some financial service companies and government agencies
- Some internet service providers and online streaming services have removed usage caps and, in some cases, made their services available for free or reduced fees
The 3 COVID-19 disease-specific websites provided by Whatcom County, Washington State and the US Government contain information and links to many of the relief opportunities being made available.