Both Clallam and Kitsap county were approved to move to Phase 2 of the governor’s “Safe Start” plan for COVID-19 recovery May 28, just five days after Jefferson County.
Because Jefferson County took a regional approach to moving to Phase 2 — waiting to reopen camping, retail, restaurants and real estate offices until both Clallam and Kitsap did — more businesses will now be able to reopen.
Kitsap County’s application for Phase 2 included reopening all activities, including retail and restaurants at 50% capacity.
Clallam County approved all Phase 2 activities, except camping, which means that both Jefferson and Clallam counties will not reopen overnight camping until the entire state does.
Because Clallam County's official start date for Phase 2 was June 1, retail stores, real estate offices and restaurants for dine-in service cannot open in Jefferson County until June 1 as well.
"The idea behind taking a regional approach was to prevent a big rush of tourism to one area," said Tom Locke, Jefferson County's Public Health Officer.
By June 1, Clallam, Kitsap and Jefferson will all be at the same stage of being open, with the exception of campgrounds in Clallam and Jefferson remaining closed.
All businesses must follow state guidelines to reopen.
"If anyone is opening, that business needs to be fully aware of what requirements are," Locke said.
For example, retail stores must limit occupancy of their businesses to 30% of the maximum building occupancy. All of these guidelines are available on the governor’s website.
Locke said he will issue a masking directive by the end of the day on May 28. This will require individuals to wear masks in public places where they cannot maintain a 6 feet of physical distance.