Benton and Franklin Counties have been approved for more business and recreational activities beginning Saturday, August 1. After reviewing the progress made in Benton and Franklin Counties in recent weeks, Secretary of Health John Wiesman and State Health Officer Kathy Lofy have eased restrictions for wineries, breweries, distilleries, taverns, swimming pools, indoor retail, and drive-in movies.

The following activities have been added: 

  1. Wineries, breweries, distilleries, taverns and restaurants can now follow Phase 2 guidance with the exception that indoor seating is still not allowed.
  2. Staffed swimming pools can open for lap swimming and small group swimming lessons in accordance with modified Phase 1 guidance.
  3. Drive-in movies are allowed without concession stands. Only members of the same household may occupy a vehicle.
  4. Indoor retail capacity is expanded from 15% to 25% of capacity.
  5. Outdoor religious services are allowed with tents and/or canopies

Benton and Franklin Counties were approved to move to modified Phase 1 as outlined in the Benton and Franklin
Counties Road to Recovery Plan effective July 3, 2020. 
Washington State Secretary of Health John Weisman’s approval of the counties’ applications allows limited and modified openings for some businesses, recreation, and personal activities in Benton and Franklin Counties.

  1. Construction as permitted in Phase 2 guidance. (new construction projects can occur)
  2. Manufacturing as permitted in Phase 2 guidance. (non-essential manufacturing)
  3. Restaurants for outdoor seating only at 50% of existing outdoor capacity. CLARIFICATION:  existing indoor seating brought outdoors - 50% of existing seating placed outdoors

     For the purposes for modified phase 1, “restaurants” include:

    • Traditional dine-in restaurants, quick-serve food operations, fixed and mobile food trucks, and other prepared-food operations, including but not limited to, hotel kitchens and workplace cafeterias;
    • Cafes, juice bars, and other businesses specializing in non-alcoholic beverages;
    • Breweries, public houses, wineries and other businesses serving full meals prepared on-site in building kitchen facilities under the ownership of the winery or brewery. 

    As a reminder, all Safe Start guidelines must also be followed, including:

    •  All live entertainment is prohibited in modified Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.

       No bar seating is permitted during modified Phase 1, Phase 2 or Phase 3. If an establishment has bar seating it must be closed off to prohibit use.

    •  All patrons must be seated at the specific seating capacities specified for each phase. Standing is prohibited in any area of establishment, except for the lobby/waiting area and then must be done while maintaining 6 feet of distance between patrons.

    UPDATE July 28 - Governor Inslee Memo

    • Bar-area seating is prohibited in all phases.

    • Indoor service at taverns, breweries, wineries, and distilleries is prohibited until Phase 4.

    • If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant endorsement, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for restaurants.

    Effective 8.1.2020 
  • Taverns/restaurant/wineries/breweries will follow guidance for phase 2 with the exception of NO indoor dining
  1. In-store retail at 15% indoor capacity with indoor activities limited to 30 min. 8.1.2020 Increase retail capacity to 25%
  2. Personal services at 25% indoor capacity
  3. Dog groomers at 25% indoor capacity
  4. 8.1.2020 Modified Phase 1 guidance for swimming pools
  5. 8.1.2020 Drive-in movies without concession stands; only members of the same household in a car
  6. 8.1.2020 Outdoor religious services with tents/canopies
  7. No gatherings with people outside of the household except for small behavioral health support groups of <5 people
Business/activities not listed above may NOT move from their status in Phase 1; this includes, but is not limited to,
  • Modified Phase 1 Miniature Golf, Putt Putt Golf,  COVID-19 Reopening Requirements - Not allowed
  • Phase 1, Modified Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements - Only allowed at Phase 1 Level
  • Phase 1, 2, and 3 Weddings and Funerals – Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.4 - Only allowed at Phase 1 level - 
  • Outdoor recreation and fitness - Only allowed at Phase 1 Level

Businesses that are allowed to reopen are required to follow the state Department of Health’s specific guidance but must adjust their occupancy to the levels identified above.

Employers must notify the employer’s local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if the employer suspects COVID-19 is spreading in the employer’s workplace, or if the employer is aware of 2 or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

Before opening, businesses MUST do the following:

  1. All businesses must sign a business pledge that they will following all COVID-19 guidance. Spanish business pledge
  2. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan -  Spanish COVID-19 Safety Plan and submit it by email or in person to county in which the business is licensed. (Instructions below) 
  3. Post the COVID-19 Safety Plan at the front of the business
  4. Require face coverings for employees and customers
  5. Post signs stating that face coverings are required. English Mask Required Sign Spanish Mask Required Sign
  Plans must be submitted to the county in which the business is licensed.
  • Benton County – please email to or drop in large yellow postal box in the drive lane at the side of Benton-Franklin Health District.
July 7, 2020 Governor Statewide No Mask No Service Order

Face coverings are now required statewide in all public spaces because they are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially when combined with 6 feet of physical distance.

Employers must provide cloth facial coverings to employees, unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection.  Employees may choose to wear their own facial covering at work, provided it meets the minimum requirements.  Businesses must require customers and visitors to wear a face covering. 

Best practices for businesses to enforce face covering orders in English (updated July 20), Spanish PDF

Businesses with questions about the face covering orders or any other Safe Start related questions can contact the state’s Business Response Center.

Customers who are concerned that a business is not adequately enforcing the face mask order or other Safe Start requirements can submit an anonymous complaint here

Additional information and commonly asked questions is available at and If you’re an employer and have questions about the order regarding face coverings for employees, visit the state Department of Labor & Industries common questions page.

Signage available under resources tab

See  BFHD Mask Information page for additional information 

Requirements for All Employers

All phases – Employers are required to:

>  Maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirements for employees and patrons. Adopt other prevention measures such as barriers to block sneezes and coughs when physical distancing is not possible for a particular job task.

>  Provide services while limiting close interactions with patrons.

>  Provide adequate sanitation and personal hygiene for workers, vendors and patrons. Ensure employees have access to hand washing facilities so they can wash their hands frequently with soap and running water.

>  Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of the business, particularly of high-touch surfaces.

>  Identify personal protective equipment (PPE) and cloth facial coverings in accordance with L&I requirements on facial coverings and industry specific COVID-19 standards. Provide the necessary PPE and supplies to employees.

>  Identify strategies for addressing ill employees, which should include requiring COVID-19 positive employees to stay at home while infectious, and potentially restricting employees who were directly exposed to the COVID-19 positive employee. Follow CDC cleaning guidelines to deep clean after reports of an employee with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 illness. This may involve the closure of the business until the location can be properly disinfected.

>  Educate employees about COVID-19 in a language they best understand. The education should include the signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread.

>  On a case-by-case basis, as directed by federal, state and local public health and workplace safety officials, implement other practices appropriate for specific types of businesses, such as screening of employees for illness and exposures upon work entry, requiring non-cash transactions, etc.

>  Follow requirements in Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-46 High-Risk Employees – Workers’ Rights.

>  Keep a safe and healthy facility in accordance with state and federal law, and comply with COVID-19 worksite-specific safety practices, as outlined in Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Proclamation 20-25, and in accordance with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries General Coronavirus Prevention Under Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations.

>  Challenge Seattle and the Washington Roundtable have developed a business checklist which is a great starting point for businesses as they prepare for a Safe Start. Our shared goal is to establish clear requirements that everyone can understand and apply — employers, workers and customers.

COVID-19 Outbreak Reporting

The Safe Start Washington Plan requires all employers to notify local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in the workplace, or if they are aware of 2 or more employees that have developed confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period. 

Please complete this survey if this is occurring in your business.

Also include anyone who has developed COVID-19 like symptoms like dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

Click here for COVID-19 Business Outbreak Reporting Form 


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