Skagit County on Friday received approval from the state Department of Health to officially move to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Reopening Washington Plan. “We are excited to move forward. It is long overdue,” said Skagit County Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson.
County leaders had met on Thursday and said they would move Skagit County to phase 2 with or without state okay. At the meeting, the three county commissioners and four city mayors said the state's delay is causing undue harm to individuals and businesses.
Governor Inslee's four-phase approach promotes a gradual reopening of the state's economy.
Phase 2 is not a total lifting of Stay Home, Stay Healthy restrictions. Much of the guidance issued by Health Officer Dr. Howard Leibrand are still in effect. Skagit County residents and visitors should continue to:
- Wear a mask in public, as long they are medically able.
- Avoid large group gatherings, which are still not allowed.
- Use physical distancing, staying six feet apart from anyone they come in contact with outside their immediate household members.
- Continue to telecommute, if possible.
- For those who are higher risk, continue to stay home as much as possible.
Phase 2 allows for the reopening of some in-person retail, professional services, personal services and restaurants with up to fifty percent capacity. Businesses must be able to comply with issued guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene. Additionally, you are now allowed to gather with five or fewer people from outside of your immediate household per week. Gatherings with more people are still prohibited and considered unsafe.