King County plans to apply for approval to enter into a modified Phase 1, after Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday he would not extend the state’s COVID-19 stay-home order beyond Sunday.
County Executive Dow Constantine announced Friday the county, in consultation with officials at Public Health — Seattle & King County, will apply for approval to enter a modified Phase 1 and begin reopening some business activity with limited or modified openings for a number of sectors.
The application for the modified Phase 1 status was expected Monday, but on Monday afternoon, King County announced on its website it had not yet applied and that, once the application is in, several days could pass before Washington state approves the request.
The announcement on the county website said, “We will issue updates as we have them once the application process is underway.”
The stay-home order, in place since March 23, expired Sunday night. So far, 27 of the state’s 39 counties are approved to enter Phase 2, which allows restaurants and taverns to reopen at half-capacity with limited table sizes, hair and nail salons and barber shops to resume business, and retail stores to reopen for in-store purchases at 30% capacity. It also allows additional outdoor recreation and gatherings with no more than five people outside of a person’s household.
Under the modified Phase 1, the following activities would reopen in King County, if approved by the state:
- Recreation and fitness (must be outdoor, with five or fewer people outside of your household, not including instructors)
- Gatherings (must be outdoor, with five or fewer people outside your household)
- Additional construction (as outlined in Phase 2)
- Manufacturing operations (as outlined in Phase 2)
- Real estate (25% of building occupancy; indoor services limited to 30 minutes)
- In-store retail (15% of building occupancy; indoor services limited to 30 minutes)
- Personal services (25% of building occupancy)
- Professional services (25% of building occupancy)
- Indoor services (limited to 30 minutes for customers)
- Photography (as outlined in Phase 2)
- Pet grooming (25% of building occupancy)
- Restaurants (no indoor dining; outdoor dining is permitted with seating at 50% of existing outdoor capacity)
Inslee said his Friday announcement means counties will have more flexibility to demonstrate they have the capability to stay on top of the virus.
Constantine said, “Thanks to the people of King County, whose united efforts have flattened the curve and saved thousands [of] lives, we are ready to continue safely, carefully reopening our economy. Our continued vigilance against the virus can help make this a one-way journey from lockdown 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.”