What new modifications for business activities mean for you

By: Markham McIntyre Posted: 07/27/2020

Getting the virus under control is an important issue of health, economic, and racial equity.

Last week, Governor Jay Inslee announced several modifications to business activities in our state. Secretary of Health John Wiesman also announced an updated policy around wearing face coverings in common areas.

The goal of all of these changes is to give the virus fewer chances to multiply so that in time, community transmission in our state is low enough that we can start turning the dial again. We must get the virus under control so that we can reopen our economy further.

We know that public health, the economy, and racial justice are inextricably linked – the virus continues to disproportionately affect communities of color, including our Black, Latinx, Native American, and Pacific Islander communities, as well as lower-income households. Getting the virus under control is an important issue of health, economic, and racial equity.

Today’s order includes the following modifications that take effect on July 30:

  • No indoor service at bars, wineries, distilleries, or breweries, whether or not the establishment serves food. Outdoor service, such as on a patio, can continue to operate at capacity.
  • Alcohol service (beer, wine, spirits) must stop at 10:00 p.m.
  • Indoor dining will be limited to members of the same household. Parties of diners from different households can still eat in outdoor areas.
  • The size of tables in phase 3 will be limited to 5 and the occupancy will be limited to 50 percent inside.
  • Game areas such as those for pool and darts must be closed.
  • The cap on fitness classes is now 5 people for Phase 2 counties, including King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, to align with the guidelines around social gatherings.
  • Activities such as indoor family recreation centers and indoor card rooms are now Phase 4 activities.
  • Indoor movie theaters now have a capacity limit of 25% in Phase 3.
Starting August 6, indoor weddings and funerals will be limited to 20% of a facility’s capacity or 30 people, whichever is fewer. Receptions are not allowed. Weddings and funerals scheduled to happen in the next two weeks will be allowed to go forward under the previous guidance.

Secretary Wiesman announced that starting Saturday, July 25, face coverings will be required in common areas, even those closed to the public, such as lobbies and hallways of apartments and condos, elevators, shared spaces in hotels and motels, nursing homes and adult family homes.

The governor also announced an extension of the current moratorium on evictions. The order set to expire August 1 now expires October 15.

The Chamber and our association health plan, the Business Health Trust, continue to be committed to providing you and your colleagues information and resources to stay safe and healthy.

In partnership with King County, One Redmond, Seattle Southside Chamber, and dozens of other chambers and business organizations around our region, we have distributed close to 3 million masks and face coverings around the county. If you are a King County small business that needs masks, face coverings, and hand sanitizer, please note that we have two upcoming pickup dates, including one tomorrow in Seattle. You can also order your Safe Start Kit online and just pay for shipping.

We also recently hosted a webinar on best practices for mask policies with leaders from Costco, Puget Sound Energy, and the Alliance of People with disAbilities, and you can view the recording here.