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Phased reopenings of counties on hold indefinitely

Gov. Jay Inslee released additional guidance on Tuesday that updates Washington’s Safe Start phased reopening plan. 

This memo builds upon guidance released last week and provides updated information related to gatherings, live entertainment, restaurants and taverns, weddings and funerals, and other activities.

In the announcement, the governor extended the pause indefinitely on counties moving ahead in the Safe Start Washington plan.

As part of the update, Gov. Inslee clarified rules effective August 10 for weddings and funerals in all phases, stating that 

  • indoor occupancy is limited to 20 percent or 30 people, whichever is less, if and only if six feet of physical distancing between households can be achieved. Outdoor ceremonies are limited to 30 people, and at least six feet of physical distancing between households is required. 
  • Consistent with existing guidance, indoor ceremonies are prohibited in Phase 1. 
  • Only ceremonies are permitted, and ceremonies must follow all other provisions of the “Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements.” 
  • Receptions are prohibited. 
  • The August 10, 2020, effective date of this section (Secular and Religious Weddings and Funerals) applies only if the event was planned before the date of this memorandum. Any events planned after the date of this memorandum must comply with the above rules starting July 30, 2020

The announcement Tuesday marks the second time the pause has been extended since it was implemented earlier this month. 

Seventeen counties are currently in phase three of a four-part reopening process, 17 are in the second stage, and five are in a modified phase one. 

More than 54,200 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Washington state and at least 1,548 have died.

Read the full memo here. A full list of guidance from the governor’s office is available here.

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