Phase 1; 2; 1.5?

King County is now in a modified Phase 1
State health officials have granted their approval for a modified approach for restarting commerce in King County. Restaurants and retailers will now be allowed to serve customers in their establishments, in addition to other modified openings for a wide range of businesses and activities.

The plan drafted by King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and King County Board of Health Chair Joe McDermott were approved by state Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman on Friday, June 5th. This allows limited and modified openings for a wide range of businesses, recreation, and personal activities in King County.

Businesses are required to follow the state Department of Health’s specific guidance but must adjust their occupancy to the levels identified below. The State defines an establishment’s capacity as the fire code. The intent is to limit business operations to a level that allows for social distancing. Additionally, businesses in retail, professional services, and real estate must take steps to reduce indoor operations to thirty minutes. This is not meant to be timed to the second – no one is expected to have a stopwatch – but customers should be informed why it is important to limit close interactions.

“This important step in our COVID-19 response reflects all the sacrifice and hard work that our community has put into fighting this disease,” said Dow Constantine, King County Executive. “The success of this guidance depends on business owners and community members embracing public health best practices, and understanding that one size doesn’t fit all. By opening our economy carefully and deliberately, we make sure to stay healthy and continue down the path to full recovery. ”
Here is an overview of what’s happening in key sectors across King County:

  • Outdoor dining activities are allowed at 50 percent of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance, though additional seating will be allowed provided it follows Public Health – Seattle & King County’s best practices. 
  • Indoor dining services may operate at 25 percent of capacity, provided such tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.
In-store retail:
  • All non-essential retail activities may operate but an establishment’s occupancy may not be higher than 15 percent of capacity.
  • Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
Personal services: Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Master Estheticians, Manicurists, Nail Salon Workers, Electrologists, Permanent Makeup Artists, Tattoo Artists, Cosmetology Schools, and Esthetics Schools:
  • All activities may operate but the number of clients served will be limited to no more than 25 percent of capacity or one person if it is a single bed/chair studio.
Professional services: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base:
  • All activities allowed but an establishment’s occupancy should not be higher than 25 percent of capacity.
  • Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to be less than 30 minutes, with face to face interactions limited to 30 minutes.
If you are a business operator and would like more information on these new policies, call Public Health’s Business Compliance Line at 206-296-1608. Otherwise, if you're a consumer, it's best to call ahead to confirm the business is open and what restrictions may be in place.

And for Fans of the King County Library System - their start safe opening plans may be viewed HERE.

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