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
  4. In-store retail at 15% indoor capacity with indoor activities limited to 30 min.
  5. Personal services at 25% indoor capacity
  6. Dog groomers at 25% indoor capacity
  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, and Staffed Water Recreation Facilities (Public and Private) COVID-19 Reopening Requirements
  • Phase 1, Modified Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements
  • Phase 1, 2, and 3 Weddings and Funerals – Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.4
  • Outdoor recreation and fitness Recreation and fitness - Only allowed outdoor with five (not including the instructor) or fewer people outside of household.


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.
UPDATE 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.

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.

Health Officer No Mask No Service Order Begins July 6th. 

On July 1, 2020, Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) Health Officer, Dr. Amy Person issued a local health officer directive  for businesses to require the public to use face coverings or refuse service to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The directive will take effect on July 6, 2020.

The directive applies to all businesses in Benton and Franklin Counties, whether they are serving customers inside any building that is open to the public or outdoors. Dr. Person issued the directive at the request of local city and county leaders.

No business may operate, allow a customer to enter a business, or conduct business with a customer inside any building that is open to public or outdoors in a public place unless the customer is wearing a face covering, as described in Order of the Secretary of Health 20-03

What can a business do if someone refuses to put on a mask?

Businesses should use the same approach and good judgement they would for any situation where someone violates their rules, e.g. no shirt, no shoes, no smoking. If the patron refuses to leave or comply, the business can contact their local law enforcement. Violation of any health officer order, including the mask requirement, are subject to legal penalties and enforceable by law (RCW 70.05.120(4) and WAC 246-100-070(3)).

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.


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