With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Governor Jay Inslee has rolled back some reopening easements, and is requiring that businesses refuse service to those not wearing a face covering, starting next week.
In an announcement on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Inslee said that the state is pushing pause on allowing counties to apply for advancement to new phases of the reopening plan. The pause will be in place for at least two weeks.
Additionally, bar-top service at restaurants is no longer allowed; patrons must sit at physically distanced tables in small groups.
Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman echoed Inslee’s urging that everyone wear masks in public, citing that 20 to 40 percent of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. “We know that people can spread the virus for two days before showing symptoms,” he said.
“Coverings are a critical tool to slow the spread of the virus,” Wiesman said.
Under the new restrictions, bars in counties that have been approved in Phase 3 will still be allowed to reopen, but without bar seating.
King County is still in Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan.