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No residential evictions for 30 days part of Washington state COVID response

Last Updated Mar 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm PST

FILE - The street next to a Seattle Times newspaper box in front of the building that houses the Times' newsroom is empty, Sunday, March 15, 2020 in Seattle, as the headline "Silence in Seattle" is displayed. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday night that he would order all bars, restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities in the state to temporarily close to fight the spread of coronavirus, as Washington state has by far the most deaths in the U.S. from the disease. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced some social and financial assistance plans amid COVID-19 pandemic

Can't pay rent at home? Washington state landlords won't be able to evict for 30 days

Wait times are also waived for unemployment insurance

OLYMPIA, Wash. (NEWS 1130) – Warning of a coming economic squall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday put a temporary hold on residential evictions for failure to pay rent, among other measures he hopes will help Washingtonians.

At a press conference, Inslee says stopping those evictions will provide stability for people out of work or struggling during the pandemic.

Inslee is also asking public utilities to hold off on shutting off customers and waive late fees for people who are currently out of work. A number of power providers in the state have already signed on, according to the governor’s tweet.

Unemployment insurance should also be easier to get, as the state will do away with a one-week waiting period for people signing up. And that will apply to any claim made from March 8 forward.

The number of people seeking that assistance has increased substantially, and Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi Levine says they’ll have updated numbers on demand later this week.

Governor Inslee also announced some specific programs that would direct money to small businesses in the state.

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a multi-billion dollar response plan to help deal with the pandemic.