COVID-19 / Coronavirus Updates, March 17, 2020

Inslee statement on statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded

Inslee statement on statewide shutdown of restaurants, bars and limits on size of gatherings expanded

March 15, 2020 – Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement that further expands protections against COVID-19.

“Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.

“Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.

“The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.

“Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.

“Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”

Public and constituent inquiries | 360.902.4111

– Governor Jay Inslee


Tacoma Art Museum Announces Temporary Closure

Effective at 5 pm on Friday, March 13, Tacoma Art Museum will be temporarily closed to public, volunteers, and staff through Tuesday, March 31. Following the guidance and directive from public health officials as an action to mitigate the spread and severity of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community, TAM’s board has made this difficult decision.

“With the health and safety of our community, visitors, volunteers, and staff as our top priority, TAM will be closed starting March 13 at 5 pm,” states David F. Setford, Executive Director at Tacoma Art Museum. “While we are closed, TAM staff will continue our mission-centered work connecting people through art. We invite the community to join us on our digital platforms, including our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, to continue learning and engaging with the Museum.”

In addition, despite the temporary closure, the care of the Museum’s collections, development of educational resources and programs, and the planning of future exhibitions will continue. TAM’s educational staff, with generous support from Artist & Craftsman Supply Tacoma, is working to distribute art kits to Tacoma Public School students. Additionally, TAM staff will be creating a variety of digital content including material related to the current exhibition Forgotten Stories: Northwest Public Art of the 1930s, homeschool learning kits, and TAM Studio projects that can be completed at home.

TAM will have revenue losses during the closure. Donations to support TAM can be made on the TAM website (

“We look forward to reopening our doors soon and welcoming community into Tacoma’s art museum, but in the meantime we are doing our best to provide hope and inspiration for all,” notes Setford.

Updates about TAM’s operating schedule will be provided through TAM’s website and social media.

About Tacoma Art Museum: Celebrating over 80 years, Tacoma Art Museum is an anchor in Tacoma’s downtown with a mission of connecting people through art. TAM’s collection contains more than 5,000 works, with an emphasis on the art and artists of the Northwest and broader Western region, 25% of which consists of studio glass. The collection includes the largest retrospective museum collection of glass art by Tacoma native Dale Chihuly on permanent view; the most significant collection of studio art jewelry by Northwest artists; key holdings in 19th century European and 20th century American art; and one of the finest collections of Japanese woodblock prints on the West Coast.

In 2012, TAM received a gift of more than 300 works of western American art from the Haub Family Collection, one of the premier such collections in the nation and the first major western American art museum collection in the Northwest. The Haub family also contributed $20 million for an endowment and expansion completed in 2014. In January 2019, TAM inaugurated the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Wing which features the extensive Benaroya collection of studio glass, as well as, TAM’s own collection of studio glass, which was started in 1971. TAM is located in the heart of Tacoma’s vibrant Museum District which consists of six museums including the Museum of Glass, a frequent collaborator. Temporarily closed.

– Tacoma Art Museum


Metro Parks Announces Closures and Cancellations

In light of the governor’s orders and public health guidance and expectations around social distancing, Metro Parks Tacoma is taking the following actions:

These facilities closed at the end of their regular schedule on Friday, March 13:

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

All four community centers (Eastside, STAR, People’s, Norpoint)

Tacoma Nature Center

W.W. Seymour Conservatory

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

All programs are canceled, including indoor, outdoor, and volunteer work parties.

All rentals — including community center rooms, the Point Defiance Pagoda, Titlow Lodge, Wapato and Dune pavilions, etc — are canceled. We will work with renters to reschedule or give full refunds.

These decisions are effective through March 31. In the meantime, we will continue evaluating the situation with public health authorities and other partners.

Parks will be maintained and open during their regular operating hours.

Our staff members are handling a high rate of phone calls, and we ask for your patience as we work through these issues. We will keep updating our website as developments warrant.

We know that Metro Parks facilities provide important benefits and services to the community, and these closures and cancellations will have real impacts. We remain in contact with partner agencies and community service providers as we contemplate the consequences of all these actions.

We encourage you to check our website for updates.

– Metro Parks Tacoma


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