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[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) today issued the following statement after Washington Governor Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced new community strategies and social distancing plans—including a prohibition on events of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties and a prohibition on smaller, non-essential events in King County—in order to contain COVID-19:

“Our current public health emergency requires that we work together to tackle the serious challenges before us and make difficult decisions in order to keep our families and communities safe. I applaud Governor Inslee and King County for taking these science-based steps to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus in Washington state, especially in counties like King County that have been seriously affected. I recognize that these steps will not be easy and will have major impacts for many in our region, but it is critical that we work quickly to immediately mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Science-based social distancing will help protect our families and communities.

In Congress, my number one priority is to make sure we help working people and families who are going through tremendous hardship as a result of this crisis. Today, I joined colleagues to introduce the MEALS Act to protect low-income students’ access to school meal benefits during any school closures, as well as a bill to ensure all Americans have access to coronavirus testing and related care without any out-of-pocket costs—something Governor Inslee has already ordered in Washington State. Congress must also quickly pass legislation to guarantee paid sick days for workers, increase access to safety net supports, and ensure people can afford basic food and housing.  

My office and I will also continue to share all the information we can, as soon as we can. On Monday evening, more than 4,000 people joined our telephone town hall, underscoring the level of concern people are feeling right now. We will continue to host telephone town halls and share regular updates through my e-newsletter.

I am proud to represent such a compassionate district with such excellent public health experts, frontline health workers and first responders. Let’s continue to stick together and look out for one another—we will weather this together.”

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