SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said on Friday that retail stores can begin to reopen under phase 1 for curbside pick-up orders.
Specific guidelines for the retail industry were released on Friday afternoon. Landscaping and dog walking can also resume under phase 1.
Under the guidelines, businesses must maintain six feet of distancing between staff and customers in all interactions. If this is not possible, other prevention measures such as the use of barriers and staggered breaks are required.
Businesses must also provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required. Cloth face coverings must be worn by all employees unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection.
Employees must be screened for signs and symptoms of coronavirus at the start of their shifts.
In-store operations should be limited to employees who are responsible for curbside delivery operations.
Products should be placed directly into a customer's vehicle whenever possible, according to the guidelines. Merchandise delivered to a home or business should be placed on the doorstep or another location outside.
The customer will notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, and should be asked to remain in their vehicle until the store employee safely delivers the purchase.
Businesses must also develop individualized store guidelines based on their merchandise, store footprint, location and parking options.
Earlier this week, Inslee issued a proclamation to resume car and boat sales in Washington under a set of strict guidelines.
Retailers and dealers cannot operate until they meet and maintain all requirements, according to proclamation. Those that are currently in operation must be in compliance no later than May 13.
Maintenance and repair of vehicles and boats has already been allowed in Washington.
Dealerships are required to adopt a written procedures that is at least as strict as a low-risk plan outlined by the state.
Under the guidelines, customers must contact a dealership by phone, e-mail or through its website, and a salesperson or manager working from home will respond and guides the customer through the dealership's website. After a customer has decided to purchase a vehicle or boat, the staff member will remotely guide them through a financing application and other documentation needed for the sale.
An employee wearing a face covering and gloves must also sanitize all hard surfaces of the vehicle or boat, high-touch areas, keys and other items that will be handed off before delivery. The same sanitizing process must be used for trade-ins, too.
Dealerships are also required to train employees in preventing the spread coronavirus, including at least 6 feet of physical distancing between staff and customers at all times. Barriers, staggered breaks or work shifts are required when that amount of distancing isn't possible.
The guidelines are even specific enough to mention the signing of necessary paperwork: the customer must use their own pen rather than one from the dealership itself. If that isn't an option, the customer can sign the form with a set of gloves and a new, sanitized pen.
Dealerships are also asked to keep a log of customers that it knows have interacted in-person at the dealership or another location. It must include contact information for each visitor.
Information about test drives is not included in the governor's plan.
A copy of the dealership's plan must be available for inspection by state and local authorities. Failure to meet this requirement may result in sanctions up to and including the closure of the dealership.
More information about guidelines for vehicle and boat sales is available on the governor's website.
Inslee's office also released guidance on Wednesday about drive-in church services.
All people who attend a service should stay in their vehicle at all times. Sunroofs, windows and tops must be closed, unless vehicles are parked six feet apart.
Additionally, everyone in a vehicle must be from the same household and there should be no more than 10 people in a single vehicle.