CAMP MURRAY, Wash. — Washington State Secretary of Health Joen Wiesman approved variance applications for Cowlitz, Grant, Island, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific, and San Juan Counties to move into phase two of Governor Jay Inslee's Safe Start Plan. This brings the total number of counties approved for phase two to 21.
Clallam, Kitsap and Thurston counties are now eligible to apply for a variance to move to phase two. Applications for phase two from Kittitas and Clark counties are on pause until discussions next week due to outbreak investigations.
Businesses that have been approved to move into phase two must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the guidance to reopen, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
In order to apply for a variance, counties must have an average of less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two week period. The variance application needs support from the local health officer, the local board of health, local hospitals and the county commission or council.
Phase two includes a variety of safety guidelines that have been laid out for businesses to follow:
-Physical distancing of six feet between workers and customers
-Barriers to block sneezes and coughs when physical distancing is not possible
-Provide ready access to handwashing stations and sanitizing solutions.
-Frequently clean and disinfect, especially high touch surfaces.
-Identify personal protective equipment (PPE) and use in accordance with Labor and Industries guidance.
-Educate employees on signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Note: the below video discusses why Grant county was previously not eligible for phase two of reopening.