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King County to apply for Phase 1.5 to allow outdoor dining at 50% capacity

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King County Executive Dow Constantine says the county will allow limited or modified openings for several business sectors and personal activities. While King County has not yet met key criteria to enter Phase 2 of the Governor’s new Safe Start plan and case counts are still unstable, it will move forward with a modified approach, including partial re-opening of the some businesses and activities.

King County can apply on June 1 for a ‘Phase 1.5’ opening; partial reopening of some elements in Phase 2. If approved, outdoor dining at 50% capacity could resume as soon as early next week while the county works to assess case counts for when Phase 2 reopening can occur. The County will continue monitoring progress over the course of two weeks, and if metrics are more stable and meeting the state’s criteria, more businesses and activities will reopen in accordance with Phase 2.

Public Health – Seattle & King County has published a new data dashboard that tracks key indicators of COVID-19 activity in King County. As part of the new Safe Start Washington plan, counties will need to meet targets such as the number of cases and hospitalizations, current testing capacity, and the status of our health care system. These indicators are intended to provide easily accessible and transparent information to the public about King County’s current COVID-19 activity, and to help guide public health decision making regarding when to adjust physical distancing requirements.

The move follows a new county by county phased approach released by Governor Inslee earlier in the day, which includes a requirement for all workers not working alone to wear masks. To read more about the King County details, click here.