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November 16, 2020 8:00 AMOn November 15th Governor Jay Inslee announced a tightening of COVID-19 health restrictions, including a ban on indoor social gatherings unless specific conditions are met, no indoor dining, outdoor dining or gatherings are limited to five people or less, and grocery and retail stores are required to limit occupancy to 25%. All the new restrictions go into effect Monday, Nov. 16, with the exception of those for bars and restaurants, which go into effect Wednesday, Nov. 18."This is not forever, this is only for now," said Governor Inslee during the conference. "We need to hold this pandemic down until the cavalry arrives...inaction is not an option." In reference to the "cavalry", Governor Inslee mentioned that work on making a vaccine available is seeing promising results. Infectious disease specialist Dr. George Diaz of Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett expressed hope that vaccine distribution can begin in the next month or two. Governor Inslee is also requiring that those who are able to work from home do so. If a business is not able to operate remotely, only 25 percent of the buildings capacity can work from there at one time. Further, no public services should be provided wherever possible. No changes have been made to the guidance’s governing schools or childcare facilities.The Town of La Conner is developing solutions to comply with these new directives, which will be posted shortly. Town Hall remains open for Monday, November 16th, although citizens and guests are asked to observe the following protocols (which have been in place since Town Hall re-opened this spring) to safeguard other members of the public and Town staff:1. Please visit Town Hall one at a time. We ask that if friends or family members accompany you, they wait outside unless it is necessary for them to assist. Pets that are not service animals should not accompany you on your visit inside Town Hall.2. If someone is in front of you, please wait patiently outside until called in. Town staff will take steps after each visitor departs to disinfect any areas that may have been touched.3. You must wear a mask to enter Town Hall. We don’t want to risk you or Town staff becoming inadvertently exposed to the coronavirus.4. Please check to see if the business you want to accomplish can be handled online, or over the telephone. We continue to urge everyone to take advantage of available options to save yourself a trip.Yard waste and compost: Yard waste and compost punch cards must be purchased at Town Hall. Cash or check is accepted.Because of continuing restrictions, the La Conner Senior Center will remain closed at this time. Re-opening the Senior Center will take place at such time as we have been informed that it is safe to do so.