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COVID19_Return to work_Infographic_Full Size

COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening

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4 phases of reopening

We are preparing our Phase 2 application. Our Board of Health will meet on Sunday, May 31, 2020. We will keep you updated on next steps.


Be sure to wait until the Governor’s office issues your industry-specific guidance and safety criteria before reopening. You must meet all requirements before resuming operations.

Consider this guidance for ways to achieve social distancing, employee and visitor health, cleaning and sanitizing, and personal hygiene (including masks) in your reopening plans.

Social distancing

Throughout all phases of the Safe Start Washington Plan, workplaces and individuals need to continue practicing social distancing. Use these tips to help you keep your employees, guests and customers safe:

For businesses

  • Add markings on floors where customers may have to stand in line to indicate 6 feet.
  • If activities are difficult to complete while observing social distancing, add plexiglass barriers to protect visitors and employees.
  • Limit the number of people allowed into the facility to make it easier to social distance.
  • Implement a reservation system to reduce crowds and text/call patrons when they can receive services.
  • Identify areas where congestion may occur and help alleviate by having an employee monitor social distancing.
  • Consider reorganizing public spaces to support one-way traffic flow to reduce congestion points.

For recreation


COVID19 Reopening guidance for recreation and gatherings
  • Reconfigure fitness equipment to provide at least 6 feet of separation between machines. It may be necessary to remove some equipment from service.
  • Limit the number of people allowed into the facility to make it easier to social distance. Allow people to sign up for gym time to keep rush times less crowded.
  • Consider placing a time limit on visits so more people can enjoy physical activity.
  • Step up your cleaning and sanitizing schedule. Make supplies convenient. Post reminder signs. Assign staff to monitor that people sanitize equipment after using.

Teams and groups

  • Engage in recreational activities that allow for social distancing. Opt for bike riding rather than tackle football to be able to maintain social distancing.
  • If possible, recreate outdoors instead of indoors to allow for adequate ventilation and fresh air.
  • Watch sports from afar. Rather than having in person spectators, broadcast games to allow everyone to tune in from their homes.

For gatherings

  • Get creative and find new ways to gather. Stay in cars if a group must meet and broadcast messages over the radio or a phone app.
  • As in person gatherings are allowed in phasing, reconfigure seating. Group families together and provide 6 feet of separation between groups. In certain venues, you may need to close off every other row to allow for social distancing.
  • A good tip to ensure enough distance is provided between individuals: Have adults reach out their arms. If it looks like fingers could touch, they are too close! Increase the distance until touching would not be possible.
  • If it is a ticketed event, sell tickets online beforehand and implement a system where tickets can be scanned without interaction.

Employee and visitor health

  • COVID19 Reopening guidance EmployeesUse appropriate PPE. Check guidance specific to your workplace and with Department of Labor & Industries.
  • Create a COVID-19 safety plan. This plan should include topics such as PPE use, social distancing, hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, symptom monitoring, incident reporting and response procedures if your workplace has a positive case.
  • Appoint a COVID-19 supervisor or safety officer for your workplace. The supervisor is responsible for monitoring the health of employees and enforcing the COVID-19 safety plan. 
  • Hold COVID-19 safety trainings. Before resuming work, hold a training for all employees on worksite policies, PPE use, proper social distancing and COVID-19 prevention. 
  • Face coverings help prevent disease spread when people have COVID-19 but don’t yet have symptoms. Face coverings should be used when people cannot maintain COVID19 Reopening guidance for Visitors and customerssix feet distance. They should also be used if people are six feet distant but share a small workspace with poor ventilation for a long period of time.
  • If you are the business owner, consider requiring face coverings for teens and adults who enter your business. Children under two should not wear face coverings.  Children age 2 – 12 should do so under adult supervision.
  • Post signage reminding employees, customers and guests to maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently, wear masks if needed and disinfect regularly.
  • Complete a health check of your employees and visitors. Ask if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Keep a visitor log. Record the name, contact information and time visited. Keep the log in case contact tracing is needed.

Cleaning and sanitizing

Cleaning and disinfecting help control the spread of COVID-19. Follow these best practices to clean, disinfect, and help make it easier to keep your workplace safe:

Clean and disinfect infographic

  • Increase the cleaning frequency of high touch items (doors, faucets, keypads, etc.).
  • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant. Pay attention to contact times (the time the surface must remain wet to kill the virus). Try to use products with shorter contact times if disinfecting an area that is in constant use.
  • Broadcast a public message over the loudspeaker to remind employees, customers and guests to wash their hands, clean and disinfect their space, etc. Frequency of the message depends on visitor turnover. Retail establishments may need to provide this reminder every 15 minutes or half hour, for example.
  • Take drinking fountains out of service to eliminate high touch points. Encourage employees, customers and guests to bring their own water bottles. Use only non-touch bottle fillers.
  • Prop doors open to prevent people from touching additional surfaces.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations at entrances and encourage use.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations at the top and bottom of stairwells. Encourage people to use the handrails to prevent falls.
  • Encourage people to use their own pens or provide a pen that a customer can then keep.
  • Increase ventilation in the building by opening windows or running the HVAC system at full capacity.

Personal hygiene

Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. When you get home from work or running errands, wash your hands. Wash your hands:

  • After touching a contaminated surface.
  • Before preparing or eating food.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Before and after touching your face.
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
  • After using the restroom.

Wear a cloth mask to help protect others. If you are sick or asymptomatic but contagious, a mask will help prevent you from making others sick. Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth.

Practice social distancing. Stay 6 feet away from others and do not gather in groups.

Stay home if you are sick! Everyone can do their part.

Many businesses are opening their doors at certain times to allow those at higher risk of severe illness to shop or visit in ease. Consider running errands during these times if you feel unsafe.

Remember you have control over your own health. If you do not feel safe or comfortable, you have the right to leave! As businesses begin to reopen, you get to choose if you want to visit.