Washington set to reopen Tuesday

Effective June 30, all industry sectors previously covered by guidance in the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery or the Safe Start Reopening Plan may return to usual capacity and operations

For months, many Washington residents have pleaded with Gov. Jay Inslee to remove restrictions on individuals and businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, the state will return to the normal capacity and operations those area residents have been clamoring for.

On Tuesday, Washington state returned to normal capacity and operations for individuals and businesses. This file photo shows area residents enjoying the Vancouver Waterfront. File photo
On Tuesday, Washington state returned to normal capacity and operations for individuals and businesses. This file photo shows area residents enjoying the Vancouver Waterfront. File photo

On the eve of Washington’s reopening, Inslee issued a statement about the June 30 scheduled removal of restrictions.

“Washington has come a long way since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country was found in our state January 2020, and that is in no small part due to Washingtonians’ dedication and resilience in protecting themselves and their communities throughout the pandemic,’’ Inslee stated..

“Because folks listened to science and stayed home to stay healthy, wore masks and got vaccinated, we can now safely fully reopen our state’s economy and cultural centers after 15 long months,’’ the governor said. “It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud of how Washingtonians came together, persevered and sacrificed to fight this virus, and now we’re finally in a place that is safe enough to end this chapter.’’

Secretary of Health Umair Shah thanked Washingtonians for their dedication to personal and community safety, but emphasized that the work to defeat the COVID-19 virus is not done.

“Washington was one of the first in the country to begin the fight against COVID-19. Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of everyone in the state we have one of the most effective responses in the nation. I am so grateful for our partners in public health, health care, government, businesses and communities across the state, as well as the public,” Shah said. “Your tireless efforts have saved lives and made reopening possible.’’ 

Commerce Director Lisa Brown praised the resilience of Washington’s business community.

“We know our businesses are deeply dedicated to reopening safely and ensuring the health of their employees and customers. And Commerce remains committed to a strong economic recovery across all our communities – particularly those that were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic,” Brown said. 

Indoor and outdoor guidance effective June 30

Effective 12:01 a.m. on June 30, all industry sectors previously covered by guidance in the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery or the Safe Start Reopening Plan may return to usual capacity and operations, with limited exceptions for large indoor events (any event with more than 10,000 simultaneous participants in an indoor, enclosed space.)

Reopening guidance:

  • Vaccine verification/negative testing: Recommended but not required for large indoor and outdoor events
  • Capacity limitations: No restrictions in restaurants, bars, stores, businesses, theaters etc. (except large indoor events)
  • Physical distancing: No requirements
  • Facial coverings: Not required for vaccinated individuals, unless required by individual business
  • Travelers: Follow CDC recommendations

Some exceptions will include schools and childcare centers that will continue to have some facial coverings and physical distancing requirements.

Requirements for places of employment issued by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries have been updated here. This resource continues to detail options for fully vaccinated workers to go without a mask, methods for verification of worker vaccination status, choices workers have to continue to mask up and other updated guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job and help employers meet their obligations to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

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Larry Bowman
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Larry Bowman
3 months ago

Driving school students and instructors?

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