As May comes to a close, Spokane County could possibly move into Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” plan by the weekend. On Wednesday night, the Spokane Regional Health District announced that it had submitted its variance application to move to Phase 2 ahead of other counties in the state. While Phase 2 opens many doors for local businesses, both literally and metaphorically, employers need to be mindful of the specific requirements put into place to ensure a safe transition to our community’s reopening.

Social distancing measures and health standards have been put into place as the foundation of Washington state’s phased approached to reopen the economy. Businesses may also need to meet additional requirements developed specifically for their industry.

Below are some of the changes that come with Phase 2 for various industries, with specific restrictions:

  • In-store retail purchases
  • Restaurants/taverns able to operate at <50% capacity with table size no larger than 5 persons
  • Hair and nail salons, barbers, and pet groomers able to accept clients
  • Office-based businesses may remove some teleworking policies for employees

Among many of the overlapping restrictions to reopen in these industries are policies surrounding heightened sanitization and use of personal protection equipment by staff. Local businesses like Cassel Productions & Signs and Zome Design are offering orders of face masks, with options to customize their appearance and branding.

Signage will also play a key role in communicating a business’ specific policies to the public. Employers can visit a number of sites, including Instant Sign Factory and, to order pre-made or custom-designed signs to help communicate guidelines to customers.

For a full break-down of business activity guidelines for each industry, employers should visit the Governor’s COVID-19 guidance page here.

Additional resources and industry guidelines can be found here.