Gov. Inslee signs new COVID-19 order for phased re-opening of Washington's economy

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Gov. Inslee issues SafeStart Plan
Some businesses could re-open as early as this week under the new COVID-19 order signed by Gov. Jay Inslee. The state’s “Safe Start” plan is a phased approach to re-opening Washington’s economy. 

Phase 1 builds upon recent decisions made around re-opening some construction activity (allowed as of April 29) and outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, playing golf and some park access.

Beginning May 5, Phase 1 also adds drive-in spiritual services with one household per vehicle, auto/RV/boat/ORV sales, retail open for curbside pick up orders, car washes, landscaping, and pet walking. 

Businesses may only re-open when they are able to fully comply with the industry-specific requirements that will be issued no later than May 15, 2020.

The state will stay in every phase for a minimum of three weeks in order to allow one complete disease incubation period plus an additional week to compile complete data and confirm trends. Every phase will still require social distancing and appropriate health precautions including the use of personal protective equipment in a number of workplaces.

This phased approach may be adjusted as the pandemic evolves. Businesses listed in each phase of the plan will have industry-specific guidance and safety criteria developed to ensure workplace safety and public health are maintained.

Inslee’s new order also details how counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply to the state Department of Health with a plan to more quickly move to Phase 2.


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