State relaxes some Covid-19 restrictions


For the first time since late July, governor Jay Inslee updated the state’s Safe Start reopening plan on October 6. Counties will stay in their phases, but some increased activity can start immediately.

Below are the changes for phase 2, which Whatcom County is in:

  • Libraries can allow indoor activity at up to 25 percent capacity, similar to current museum guidelines.
  • Youth and adult sports are allowed to start, with varying activity levels based on the amount of new cases per 100,000 county residents in a two-week period. This includes school and extracurricular sports, indoor and outdoor.
  • Movie theatres are allowed at 25 percent occupancy. Attendees are allowed to eat and drink but must wear masks at all other times and maintain a 6-foot distance between patrons outside of their group.
  • Restaurant alcohol cutoff will move from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and establishments may now sit up to six at a table. Indoor seating is also no longer restricted to members of one household.
  • Real estate agents can give open house showings to the maximum number allowed in a gathering size per county, which is five in Whatcom County.
  • The governor’s office added protocols for outdoor recreation races in phases 2 and 3. This includes sports such as kayaking, skiing and triathlons. 
  • The governor’s office updated guidance for water recreation activities, miniature golf and scuba diving centers. Water recreation facilities can operate on an appointment basis.

"We’re doing this now because we have had ongoing conversations with businesses about how to do these activities safely," Inslee said at an October 6 news conference. "Instead of tightening restrictions, we can roll some more back to allow safer operation of these activities.

For more information on the openings, click here


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