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Phase 1 restrictions for businesses and workplaces in King County can be found here, in addition to reopening tools. Read more details about the governor's Healthy Washington plan.

Reporting Outbreaks

Report outbreaks to Public Health

Current Requirements by Business Type

Note: Links to detailed guidance and restrictions may be out of date and are coming soon from the state.


Limitations: The new Commercial Service Airport Requirements are a statewide approach that sets baseline requirements at each commercial passenger service airport. It also encourages airlines to adopt certain health screening questionnaires, and to require passengers abide by face covering and physical distancing requirements in order to be issued a boarding pass.


Activities allowed: All construction, including new work and where social distancing may not be maintained. 

Domestic services

Activities allowed: Any worker (hourly, salaried, independent contractor, full-time, part-time, or temporary) who is paid by one or more employer and provides domestic services to an individual or household in/about a private home as a nanny, house cleaner, cook, private chef, or household manager. 


Activities allowed:  Outdoor fitness classes are permitted in groups of five or less. Appointment-based fitness and training where there is no more than 1 customer per room or 500 square feet for large facilities.


Activities allowed: Ceremonies must be capped at 30 people. Receptions are not permitted. Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained

Grocery stores

Activities allowed: As an essential business, grocery stores continue to serve customers and follow guidance for keeping customers and employees safe. In-store retail, including grocery, shall be limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, and common/congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts are closed.

Healthcare and Service Providers

Activities allowed: Healthcare and service providers can use the following up-to-date resources to prepare for and respond to cases of COVID-19 in their facility, and protect the health of clients, patients, and staff. 

Higher education

Activities allowed: All non-lecture based higher education and workforce training, including where social distancing may not be maintained. 

Indoor entertainment establishments (includes aquariums, indoor theaters, indoor arenas, indoor concert halls, indoor gardens, indoor museums, indoor bowling, indoor trampoline facilities, indoor cardrooms, indoor entertainment activities of any kind, indoor event spaces)

Activities allowed: Private rentals/tours for individual households of no more than 6 people permitted. General admission prohibited.

Requirements for:

In-store retail

Activities allowed: All retail activities are subject to Phase 1 restrictions, which restricts capacity to 25 percent. Common spaces like food courts must remain closed.


Activities allowed: Services via mail or curbside pick-up.

Long-term care facilities

Activities allowed: Indoor compassionate care visits, outdoor visits, window visits, and remote visitation.

All visits and activities must follow strict safety protocols, including masking, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene. Indoor visits are restricted to essential support persons and compassionate care situations.

Manufacturing operations

Miscellaneous venues

Activities allowed: All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer as long as six feet of physical distance can be maintained by all attendees. Any food service provided to attendees shall be self‐contained, pre-plated, grab‐and‐go meals/snacks to limit contact. Receptions, networking events, and live-entertainment are prohibited.

Outdoor entertainment establishments (including zoos, outdoor theaters and concert venues, rodeos, among other outdoor venues)

Activities allowed: Operation must be by ticketed event only with groups of 10 maximum with a limit of two households. Timed ticketing is required, as well as facial coverings and physical distancing.

Requirements for:

Personal services

Activities allowed: All personal services are subject to Phase 1 restrictions which restricts customer occupancy to 25% with the exception of one to one services in an enclosed room.

Pet grooming

Activities allowed: All pet grooming services including any location provided by an individual, or at a retail, veterinary, or other facility. All pet grooming services are subject to current guidance which restricts client occupancy to 50%.

Professional services

Activities allowed: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base. All professional services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible, and to close offices to the public. If they remain open, occupancy is restricted to 25%.

Religious and faith organizations

Activities allowed: All religious and faith-based organizations may operate services including worship services; religious study classes; religious ceremonies; religious holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals. Remote or outdoor services are recommended. All religious and faith based activities are subject to current guidance which generally restricts indoor services to the lesser of 25% capacity or 200 individuals as long as 6 feet of distance is kept between people from different households. In-home services/counseling is restricted to no more than five individuals. Limitations on capacity does not include an organization's staff, but does include volunteers. Choirs, bands, and ensembles are not permitted to perform. Soloists are permitted to perform. Facial coverings must be worn at all times.

Residential Communities

Activities allowed: Housing managers, staff and residents can practice and encourage social distancing, wear face coverings, manage and limit use of common areas, frequently clean high-touch areas, limit visitors, and more to protect themselves and their residential community.

Restaurants and taverns

Activities allowed: Outdoor dining with a maximum of six and limit for two households per table is permitted with an 11:00 PM close. No indoor dining is permitted.


Activities allowed: Ceremonies must be capped at 30 people. Receptions are not permitted. Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained.


Activities allowed: Outdoor fitness classes are permitted in groups of five or less. Appointment-based fitness and training where there is no more than 1 customer per room or 500 square feet for large facilities.

Outdoor Races

Activities allowed: Outdoor biking, running, kayak and canoe, and cross country skiing competitions with more than 12 participants are allowed, including triathlons, marathons, and more. Fun runs and charity walks without participant timing are not allowed.

Outdoor Recreation

Activities allowed: Staffed outdoor tennis facilities; guided ATV, paddle sports, and horseback riding; go-cart tracks, ORV/motocross facilities, participant only motorsports. The above outdoor recreation activities are subject to current restrictions.

Professional/Adult/Youth Sports

Activities allowed:  Golf, professional sporting activities, low and moderate risk sports permitted for outdoor practice and training only (no tournaments). Specific protocols for transportation, group size and facial coverings.

Indoors: Low risk sports (including dance, no-contact martial arts, gymnastics, and climbing) permitted for practice and training only in stable groups of no more than 5 athletes. Appointment based fitness/training; 45-minute max session, no more than 1 customer/athlete per room or per 500/sq ft. for large facilities.

Social gatherings

Activities allowed: Indoor gatherings are prohibited with anyone from a different household. Max of 10 people from outside your household, limit 2 households allowed outdoors.

Water Recreation Facilities

Activities allowed: By appointment only.

Resources for Workers

The economic disruption unleashed by COVID-19 has posed great challenges for the region’s workers. There are resources to help workers during these difficult times and laws to protect your rights in the workplace. Learn more:

Free Employment Resources in King County

Re-opening Toolkit: Materials to print for your business

The following toolkit includes all the materials you need to print for reference and to display, to help reopen and operate your business safely.

Available in Spanish.

Safe Work Plan

Operating Tools

Posters for Customers

Posters for Employees

Click here to download and print the entire toolkit (22.4 MB PDF)

Culturally and linguistically relevant help is available in-language for small businesses and nonprofits looking to find and apply for resources, access translation assistance, plan for recovery and safe re-opening, and more.

Re-opening Requirements for All Businesses

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has posted complete Phase 1 and 2 Workplace Safety and Health Requirements and a helpful summary of guidance. You can also find more information for specific sectors on Gov. Jay Inslee's website.

Post COVID-19 policies in a language your employees can understand. Inform them about the symptoms and risk factors associated with the virus; the importance of frequent and thorough handwashing and social distancing; and the need to stay home when sick. King County has educational materials in many languages to help employers fulfill this requirement.

This poster explains basic information for employees:

Reopening business poster for staff: Workplace requirements during COVID-19

Reopening business poster for staff: Workplace requirements during COVID-19

Slides on safety requirements for workplaces can be used for employee education. (Powerpoint)

Maintain at least six feet of separation between employees and customers at all times, including between tables at restaurants, customers waiting in line, and people using elevators. Businesses may need to print posters encouraging this behavior, such as only allowing 1-2 people per elevator depending on the size of the cab, or place tape or markers on the floor six feet apart.

When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other measures are required, such as installing barriers, reducing staff or staggering worker hours.

Provide cloth face coverings and require employees to wear them unless they are working alone or have a condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous. Workers can wear their own face coverings, provided they meet minimum requirements.

Some jobs require higher levels of personal protective equipment because they have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. You can find information about additional face coverings in Labor and Industries’ Which Mask for Which Task.

Provide cloth masks and require employees to wear them unless they are working alone or have a condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous.

More information about face coverings and King County's Face Covering Directive:

Require frequent handwashing and provide the necessary supplies. Supplies may include additional sinks or stations where employees can wash their hands. If regular handwashing with soap and water is not possible employers must supply hand sanitizer.

Download handwashing posters in multiple languages:

Provide disposable gloves where appropriate to prevent virus transmission on shared tools and other equipment.

Regularly clean and sanitize your workplace, especially frequently touched surfaces. Each workplace should establish a cleaning schedule and ensure that high-touch areas are routinely sanitized.

Check to see if employees have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at the start of their shift. Use this COVID-19 Screening Tool and keep a log that the screening process was followed for all employees.

If they do, send them home and advise them to seek testing.

Exposed employees with a known exposure time (no longer than a day) should be tested no sooner than 48 hours from their exposure date.

Due to limited lab capacity for processing tests, only people with symptoms or who are close contacts of confirmed cases should get tested.

Unless they work in health care or long-term care facilities, employers should not require workers to submit a negative COVID-19 test result or a positive antibody test before starting a job or returning to work after recovering from the virus.

Workers can return when at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed since their fever resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications, and their other symptoms have improved.

Post a sign near your business entrance strongly encouraging customers to wear cloth masks.

Consider making this a requirement for all customers.

Reopening business poster for customers: Prevent the spread of COVID-19

Some people are exempt from mask requirements for health and safety reasons. Reference this toolkit and educate employees to understand mask exemptions.

Protect one another: Wear a face covering and keep 6 feet apart from others in public spaces.

This poster asking customers to wear face coverings is available multiple languages:

It is against the law for any employer to fire or retaliate against a worker for reporting concerns about health and safety. In addition, Governor Inslee has ordered that employees in high-risk groups for COVID-19 must be granted leave if they can't report to work for health reasons. Read the guidance memo for Proclamation 20-46.1 about "High-Risk Employees – Workers’ Rights" here.

FAQs about high-risk workers

Can office workers be required to return to the workplace?

Yes. While much office work might be performed remotely, some employers may wish to return some workers to the workplace. The governor's Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements do not preclude or prevent this - employers may require some employees to return. High-risk workers, however, must be afforded "reasonable accommodation" to reduce their risk of infection.

If a worker is "high-risk" but has exhausted their sick and vacation time, what can they do if alternative work arrangements cannot be made?

High-risk workers are generally protected from adverse employment action under the proclamation, although employers are not obligated to pay beyond any accrued paid time off. 

According to Proclamation 20-46.2, "Employers are prohibited from failing to utilize all available options for alternative work assignments to protect high-risk employees, if requested, from exposure to the COVID-19 disease, including but not limited to telework, alternative or remote work locations, reassignment, and social distancing measures."

In short, the employer must consider alternative work arrangements for high-risk workers. If impossible, the employer is not obligated to pay for unworked hours, but may not take adverse employment action.

Effective July 7, the Governor's Safe Start Proclamation requires employers in King County (in non-healthcare settings) to notify Public Health – Seattle & King County *within 24 hours* if they suspect COVID is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among their employees in a 14 day period.

More information about what to do if an employee has COVID, and how to report.

Additional Toolkits

Find Face Coverings and Masks

Chambers and business organizations throughout King County have joined together to get face coverings, disposable masks, and hand sanitizer to businesses in King County. Businesses can go to for more information.

Learn how to request masks from King County

Funding Opportunities

Check with your city to learn whether there are currently funding opportunities available in addition to the opportunities below.


For non-medical questions about COVID-19, including compliance and business related issues, contact King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line at 206-296-1608, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff.

Restaurants and Taverns

Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR)

King County's Safe Start for Taverns and Restaurants (SSTAR) program provides education and materials to help restaurants implement state and public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It also increases the accountability of food service establishments to abide by the health and safety standards that support a safe reopening.

Visit the STTAR website for guidelines for restaurants and other food businesses.