King County was approved to move into a modified Phase 1 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan Friday.
Safe Start is a phased-in, county by county approach to reopening businesses and resuming activities statewide while minimizing the impact of COVID-19. Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved King County’s modified Phase 1 application Friday.
King County has not quite meet the threshold to apply for Phase 2, but the governor released more flexibility in the phased approach that allow counties to apply for modified or in-between phases with additional guidance. To move forward to Phase 2, the county will need to see less than 25 cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span.
King County moving ‘in the right direction’ in quelling COVID-19 outbreak
In the modified Phase 1, or “Phase 1.5,” restaurants, in-store retail, personal services, professional services, and construction may resume with varying requirements for capacity. The modified phase includes some of the same openings as seen in Phase 2, but with more limits.
It also allows for outdoor gatherings of five people or fewer, however public health officials have recently expressed support of the protests that have been happening throughout the state and King County, provided attendees are wearing masks and continuing to monitor their health.
All reopening businesses must meet the industry specific guidelines as outlined by the state and adjust their occupancy level accordingly to allow for social distancing. It’s also recommended to limit indoor operations to 30 minutes when possible, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes as well.

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