All counties in Washington state have been allowed to move on from Phase 1 of the state's "Safe Start" reopening plan to ease social distancing restrictions. A total of five counties are in a modified version of Phase 1, 17 counties were approved for Phase 2, and 17 counties were approved for Phase 3.
Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, which limited public activities to curb the spread of coronavirus, was put into place in March. The social distancing limits affected how many businesses operated, causing many to close.
On May 1, Inslee announced a four-phase "Safe Start Washington" plan, which begins to reopen businesses and activities in a phased manner.
The state amended that plan after half the counties in the state asked to proceed to Phase 2. The governor announced on May 29 that openings would be determined county-by-county.
As of July 2, all progress was put on pause for two weeks because of the rising rates of infections throughout the state.
Check the following list to see what counties are in which phases.
Phase 1 allows some construction, fishing, hunting, and park access, as well as retail curbside pickup, auto sales, and car washes with social distancing restrictions.
- All counties have moved on from Phase 1.
Modified Phase 1
Modified Phase 1 allows outdoor restaurant seating at 50% capacity and indoor seating at 25% capacity with tables 6 feet apart, retail at 15% capacity, personal services like salons and barbers at 25% capacity, professional services like accountants and insurance agents at 25% capacity and all construction.
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Phase 2 increases outdoor recreational activities, such as camping, allows small group gatherings of five people or less, opens barbershops and salons, opens restaurants at 50% capacity and tables of five people or less. Pet services, including grooming, could resume. Some professional services could resume, although teleworking will still be encouraged.
- San Juan
- Walla Walla
To be allowed to go into Phase 2, counties must have an average of less than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. The county must also demonstrate that they have adequate hospital bed capacity and PPE supplies, and that it has plans for testing, contact tracing, and housing people in quarantine.
The application process requires support from the local health officer, the local board of health, local hospitals, and the county government.
In Phase 3, group sizes could expand to 50 people or fewer. Non-essential travel could resume. Restaurants could increase capacity to 75% capacity. Gyms, recreational facilities, like pools, and movie theaters could reopen at 50% capacity. Libraries, museums, and government buildings could also reopen.
- Grays Harbor
- Pend Oreille
In Phase 4, gatherings of more than 50 people are allowed with social distancing. Worksite staffing would be unrestricted, although workers should follow social distancing. Bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues can return to full capacity.
No counties are eligible for this phase.