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Washington state to close restaurants and bars over coronavirus

Washington state to close restaurants and bars over coronavirus

Restaurants and bars in Washington state will temporarily suspend dine-in service amid the coronavirus outbreak as officials attempt to stop the spread of the virus, the governor announced Sunday.

Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington state officials warn providers offering VIP vaccine access Legislators go after governors to rein in COVID-19 powers Inslee rebukes hospital over vaccine appointments for donors MORE (D) tweeted that no restaurant in the state will be permitted to serve in-person customers for the foreseeable future, with takeout and delivery services still permitted.

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The order will not apply to pharmacies and grocery stores, and echoes a decision made earlier in the day by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R).

"Tomorrow, we will temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment/recreational facilities statewide," Inslee added on Twitter. "All gatherings over 50 participants will be prohibited. All gatherings under 50 participants will be prohibited unless previously announced criteria for hygiene and social distancing are met."

Washington state has been the hardest-hit of the U.S. by the coronavirus, and has seen dozens of deaths as of latest figures.

The global outbreak has sickened more than 140,000, including thousands in the U.S. and hundreds in the state itself.