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Inslee issues additional guidance on funerals and real estate transactions, letter to tribal governments

March 28, 2020

Story 

Gov. Jay Inslee announced additional guidance today related to the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" proclamation to slow the spread of COVID-19. Inslee also sent a government-to-government letter to Washington's tribal communities. 

Guidance on funerals

In partnership with the governor's office, the Washington State Department of Licensing sent additional guidance to funeral homes and cemeteries today.

The letter from DOL reads, in part:

"As your licensing agency for mortuary services, we provide the following guidance. Licensed funeral homes and cemeteries may conduct funeral services in a funeral home or graveside under the following conditions:

  • Funerals are only attended by immediate family members of the deceased.
  • The family members in attendance must maintain proper social distancing, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as staying six feet apart.

"We have also received questions about embalming. The governor's proclamation does not prohibit embalming."

Read the full letter.

Guidance on real estate transactions

Inslee also sent a letter that provides further guidance on real estate transactions today. The letter reads, in part:

"While real estate activities along with mortgage lending activities have been approved as
essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the
following restrictions and limitations:

  • In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer
    to view a property or sign necessary documents;
  • No real estate open houses shall be permitted;
  • Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by
    appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising
    social distancing at all times; and
  • Except for the limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be
    facilitated remotely.

Read the full letter.

Letter to tribal governments

The governor sent a letter to tribal governments throughout the state yesterday, as part of government-to-government communications. The letter reads, in part:

"First, none of my Emergency Proclamation orders apply to conduct on tribal lands. Tribal governments, as sovereign nations, are making their own decisions in response to the current COVID-19 emergency.

"Second, constituents have presented several questions to my office regarding individuals who commute to tribal lands or Washington businesses that work on tribal lands. While I have defined essential activities (for purposes of Emergency Proclamation 20-25) in Washington, tribal leaders maintain sovereignty to define essential activity on tribal lands."

Read the full letter.

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