Eight counties in Washington ready to begin second phase of reopening

May 15 2020, 11:39 am

Eight counties in Washington meet the requirements to begin Phase 2 of reopening their economies.

During his Thursday press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks are now able to apply for clearance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state.

Currently, Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Ferry, Wahkiakum, Skamania, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties have been given permission by the Department of Health to move forward in opening their economies.

The state is still planning on opening the rest of the economy in four phases and will wait a minimum of three weeks before moving between each.

In phase two, high-risk populations will continue to stay home. All outdoor recreation involving fewer than five people outside your household can take place, including camping and visiting beaches.

Gatherings of no more than five people outside of your household per week are allowed, and limited non-essential travel is allowed within the proximity of your home.

Remaining manufacturing, new construction, in-home and domestic services, retail, real estate, professional services, and hair and nail salons will be able to open.

Restaurants will be able to open as long as they have a capacity table size no larger than five people. Restaurants will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.