Business owners in Olympia, Washington, were alarmed by new measures to combat coronavirus reported in a flyer posted on their doors, but it turned out to be a mean-spirited prank.
"Effective immediately, all of the businesses will be closed," read the flyer that was posted all over downtown businesses.
The fake proclamation bore the logo of the city of Olympia in order to appear official.
The flyer claimed that all businesses would be closed and that empty condos, businesses, and schools would be repurposed to house the homeless.
Joseph Dukes Jr. of Cascadia Grill said the flyer stunned him because he believed it to be real.
"I think it's a horrible thing to do, and it shouldn't have been done in the first place," he told KIRO-7 News.
The city called the prank "grossly irresponsible." Many businesses have already closed due to the "social distancing" recommendations by health officials.
"I don't know that it is fearmongering, I feel like it's someone's wish fulfillment of what they think the city should do," said Frank Hussey, an owner of a comic book store.
"I don't think it was appropriate," he added. "I don't think you should spread misinformation!"
Here's a local news report about the hoax flyer:
VIDEO: Fake flyers spread false COVID-19 response in Olympia www.youtube.com