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State prepared to enforce social-distancing mandates as it receives calls about scofflaws

Caution tape closes off swings and other playground equipment in Seattle.
Simone Alicea
/
KNKX
Caution tape closes off swings and other playground equipment in Seattle.

For weeks, Gov. Jay Inslee has pleaded with Washingtonians to stay home. Now, he's warning that officials will crack down on people defying his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

The governor on Monday outlined a three-tiered approach to enforcing mandatory social-distancing measures. The first step is about educating people about the order. But people who continue to gather and non-essential businesses that continue to operate could face sanctions, including the loss of a business license or midemeanor citations, up to civil or criminal proceedings.

"Taking the people to court is the very last thing that will considered and should not be necessary under any conditions for folks who really value the health of their loved ones and respect for everyone in our community," Inslee said.

Inslee and other officials emphasized the primary focus would be on education. They also asked the public not to call 911 and instead report violations of the governor's order at a special website.

Listen to the conversation above to hear more about how officials will enforce social distancing and how long those measures might remain in place.