Reopening Your Business
UPDATE 3/22/2021: Washington state is now in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. Significant changes include the ability for restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theaters to operate indoor service at 50% occupancy (400 people maximum). Click here to see what is open in Phase 3.
For the most up to date industry-specific guidance, visit the Governor’s website.
Healthy Washington Reopening Plan
What is Healthy Washington?
Healthy Washington is the phased reopening plan for Washington state. The plan took effect on January 11, 2021. On March 11, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the plan will transition from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process.
How do I know which phase I am in?
King County along with the rest of the state entered Phase 3 on March 22, 2021.
When can a county move to another phase?
Certain metrics and thresholds help determine if it is safe for a county to enter into a new phase of reopening. Counties will be individually evaluated every three weeks. The first evaluation is scheduled for April 12.
For a overview of the metrics used for measuring a county’s progress, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/roadmap-recovery-metrics.
Phase 3: Business Restrictions and Guidelines
Which activities are allowed in Phase 3?
Phase 3 allows for additional indoor activities, including dining, indoor entertainment establishments (such as aquariums, theaters, museums) and more at maximum 50% capacity (400 people max).
Updated industry guidelines included below. For a complete list of industries, visit the Governor’s website.
- Spectator Events
- Professional Services – Updated March 19
- Personal Services – Updated March 19
- Eating and Drinking Establishments – Updated March 17
- Fitness and Training – Updated March 22
- Outdoor Recreation – Updated March 23
- Sporting Activities – Updated March 22
- Indoor Entertainment
- Bowling – Updated March 18
- Card Rooms – Updated March 18
- Movie Theaters – Updated March 19
- Museums – Updated March 19
- Zoos and Aquariums – Updated March 18
- Domestic Services
- In Store Retail – Updated March 17
- Miscellaneous Venues – Updated March 19
- Motion Picture Industry
- Workforce Education Programs
Improving Ventilation and Reopening Toolkits
- Reopening Toolkit (King County) – All the materials you need to print for reference and to display, to help reopen and operate your business safely. Also available in Spanish.
- Back to Work Toolkit (Madrona Ventures) – Tools, templates, checklists and guides that fit the practical needs of many company leaders –from HR to CEO to Facilities – to build a safe work plan for getting back to the physical workplace.
- Reopening Checklists (City of Seattle) – Includes checklists for reopening your business, financial resources, printable signage and more for multiple industries (multiple languages). Toolkits are not intended to provide public health guidance, but are meant to distill information from the state and county and make reopening guidance more accessible (multiple languages).
- Reopening Toolkit (Chambers of Kitsap County) – The Reopening Toolkit developed by our neighbors in Kitsap County provides a detailed roadmap for how businesses can prepare and plan for reopening, in addition to other information. Kitsap County is also in Phase 2 under the state’s reopening of business, recreational, and social activities.
- Resource Guide for Employers (Business Health Trust)
Pivoting Your Business
Moving Business Activity Outdoors
Community and business activities, including restaurant dining, are safer outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington state governor Jay Inslee has issued specific requirements related to this activity.
Open Air and Outdoor Seating Requirements (Office of the Governor, updated 2/12/2021)
For cities, communities, and business districts:
- Healthy Business Streets Guide (King County) https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/environmental-health/~/media/depts/health/environmental-health/documents/publications/healthy-business-streets-guide.ashx
Outdoor seating and dining guides:
- Outdoor Seating and Dining (City of Bellevue)
- Winter Outdoor Dining Tents and Canopies (City of Redmond)
Additional outdoor guides:
- Drive-In Cultural Events (City of Bellevue)
Add your business to these platforms
Add your listing to these local promotional platforms and reach customers on the Eastside and greater Seattle.
- Eastside Restaurant Support Group: Share your offerings with over 6,000 Eastside potential customers. Join to add your restaurant or to help support.
- Experience Redmond: Submit/manage your business listing.
- Shop Local Kirkland: Connect with potential customers by adding your company to this online resource.
- Support Puget Sound Small Business: Contact email@example.com to add your business to the map.
- What’s Open Eastside: Add your business to the map here.
Virtual Roundtables for Festival Professionals
Film Festival Alliance is hosting free virtual roundtables open to all festival professionals. These virtual events cover information that ranges from how to stream online festivals to hosting drive-ins. Sign up here!
Social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all popular and inexpensive ways of marketing your businesses to potential customers. If you’re not familiar with these solutions or need a refresher check out some of the tutorials below.
COVID-19 In The Workplace
Employers are responsible for meeting several reporting requirements if COVID-19 is found in the workplace. Guidance for employees who have potentially been exposed or infected is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
COVID-19 Supply Resources for Employers (Business Health Trust)
Business Health Trust has compiled a list of supplies that are available for members to purchase from member companies throughout Washington.
Hazardous Waste Management Program (King County)
King County’s Hazardous Waste Management Program offers a voucher incentive program for eligible businesses to purchase PPE and make other improvements. Eligible businesses can receive up to $599 cash back for these improvements.
Masks & Face Coverings(City of Seattle)
Seattle Protects is a resource offered by the City of Seattle that provides links to vendors for purchasing face coverings in bulk for a business or organization.
PPE Marketplace (AWB)
The PPE Marketplace is a resource offered by the Association of Washington Businesses that connects businesses with manufacturers that supply PPE.
Organizations whose lines of business are included state guidance are eligible to order personal protective equipment from King County Office of Emergency Management when it cannot be obtained from other sources, and if the organization ordering the supplies is making efforts to limit the quantities of PPE it uses.
Reporting Requirements for Employers
- Employers must notify their local health jurisdiction within 24-hours if the employer suspects that COVID-19 is spreading in the workplace, OR if the employer is aware of two or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period. Employers in King County can use this form to report cases.
Guidance for Potentially Exposed Employees
- Potentially exposed employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and follow the steps laid out here by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Additional support and guidance for workers during COVID-19 available here (Public Health – Seattle & King County)
Non-medical questions about COVID-19 including business related issues?
- Public Health – Seattle & King County King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line (Monday-Friday) 8:30am – 4:30pm at (206) 296-1608 (interpreters available)
- King County’s Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR) program
If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Health Investigator by calling 206-263-9566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Sector Leads (King County)
Get in touch with a representative from King County’s Community Mitigation and Recovery group.
Task Force Sector Task Force Lead Email address Business Shannon Harris Shannon.Harris@kingcounty.gov Community Based and Faith Based Orgs (CBOs and FBOs) Justin Jeffrey (CBO)
Ali Omar (FBO)
email@example.com Governmental Agencies Van Badzik firstname.lastname@example.org Higher Education Cecelia Hayes Cecelia.Hayes@kingcounty.gov Older Adult and People w/Disabilities (Liaison) Anne Shields email@example.com Pre K-12 Schools and Childcare Priti Mody-Pan firstname.lastname@example.org Immigrant & Refugee Hamdi Mohamed Hamdi.Mohamed@kingcounty.gov Priority Populations/Latinx Community Giselle Zapata-Garcia email@example.com Equity Team Arun Sambataro Arun.Sambataro@kingcounty.gov Housing (Liaison) Anne Shields firstname.lastname@example.org Speakers Bureau Steve Stamper Steve.Stamper@kingcounty.gov Language Access Amanda Kay ESJLanguages@kingcounty.gov