Executive Constantine announces plan to re-open limited business activity in COVID-19 recovery

King County Executive Dow Constantine, in consultation with Public Health – Seattle & King County leaders, announced that pending state approval, King County will begin to re-open some business activity with limited or modified openings for a number of sectors.

NOTE: 1:30 p.m. June 1: King County has not yet submitted our application for the modified phase of the Safe Start reopening plan. Once submitted, it will likely take several days to be approved by the state. We will issue updates as we have them once the application process is underway.  

Working with community, business, and government partners – including the County Council and Board of Health leadership – King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the county is prepared to move forward to allow limited or modified openings for several business sectors and personal activities.

King County has not yet met key criteria to enter Phase 2 of the Safe Start plan and case counts are still unstable, so it will move forward with a modified approach, including partial re-opening of the following businesses and activities:

  • Recreation and fitness
    • Only allowed outdoor with 5 — not including the instructor — or fewer people outside of household
  • Gatherings
    • Only allowed outdoor of 5 or fewer people outside the household
  • Additional construction
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Manufacturing operations
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Real estate
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes
  • In-store Retail
    • 15 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes
  • Personal Services
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
  • Professional services
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
    • Indoor services limited to 30 minutes for customers
  • Photography
    • As outlined in Phase 2 guidance
  • Pet grooming
    • 25 percent of building occupancy
  • Restaurants
    • No indoor dining allowed
    • Outdoor dining is permitted but seating at 50 percent of existing outdoor capacity.

King County will continue monitoring progress over the course of two weeks, and if metrics are more stable and meeting the state’s criteria, more businesses and activities will reopen in accordance with Phase 2.

“Thanks to the people of King County, whose united efforts have flattened the curve and saved thousands lives, we are ready to continue safely, carefully reopening our economy,” said Executive Constantine. “Our continued vigilance against the virus can help make this a one-way journey from lock-down back to prosperity, and I’m excited that folks will soon be able to support our local businesses by doing simple things like dining at an outdoor restaurant, getting a haircut, or shopping for a summer outfit.

On May 27, Public Health – Seattle & King County released a new dashboard featuring key Indicators, with targets that help inform reopening decisions. Based on trends toward all the targets, public health officials and policymakers believe these openings, done safely, will enable much-needed economic activity while also protecting the public and managing the spread of disease in our community.

“Working together, King County residents have made real progress in decreasing the number of COVID-19 cases and the burden on our healthcare system, allowing us to move forward cautiously at this time,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public health – Seattle & King County. “The virus continues to circulate widely and most of us remain susceptible. With increased activities at work and other settings, there will be more opportunities for the virus to spread, so it’s absolutely essential that we sustain significant changes in how we go about our lives for the foreseeable future.”

With the limited re-opening, maintaining the safety principles that led to the success against the outbreak has never been more important. These include continuing to practice physical distancing of 6 feet or more, minimizing contact with others outside the home, frequent hand washing or sanitizer, use of cloth face coverings in public, and avoiding group gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

With testing increasingly available in King County, it’s critical that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 seek a test immediately. Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to family, friends, and the community. Public Health’s COVID-19 website has more information about the testing, including to get tested.

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