Pierce County moving to Phase 2 of coronavirus recovery

Jun 5th, 2020 | By | Category: News

Pierce County has received permission from state authorities to move to Phase 2 of the statewide coronavirus reopening plan, meaning restaurants, retail stores and some other merchants can start returning to normal business.

Officials announced Friday that the state Department of Health had approved the county’s formal request earlier in the week to move to Phase 2, effective immediately.

Activities allowed under Phase 2, with restrictions, include restaurants at 50 percent capacity, in-store retail at 30 percent capacity and the re-opening of hair salons, barbers, and other personal-grooming services.

Businesses must meet all safety and health requirements that have been ordered by the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, tables in restaurants and bars must be at least six feet apart to allow for social-distancing between customers. Businesses also are urged by health authorities to require customers to wear cloth masks.

The county is expected to remain in Phase 2 for at least three weeks and can apply to move to the next phase when certain levels of COVID-19 cases have been achieved.

County Executive Bruce Dammeier said “our residents’ hard work to social-distance and abide by best practices” has been rewarded with the advance to Phase 2. Previously, businesses were either closed or limited to takeout or curbside service.

The county formally applied to the state June 2 for Phase 2 status.

Also this week, the county supplied businesses, non-profit organizations, and churches with 2 million masks and 20,000 digital thermometers. The items were free. Their cost was covered by federal emergency funding.

Churches continue to be limilted to drive-in spiritual services. “Faith is so important at all times, but especially during times of crisis and difficulty. This unique drive-in service option will allow people to come together,” said Governor Jay Inslee said.