Return from golf and hiking but haircut until June

Through Jerry cornfield

The gradual reopening of the state will officially begin on Tuesday, although it may be June 1 before barbershops and barbershops can operate and it is possible to eat in a restaurant.

And it will be Independence Day, at the earliest, before this whole unraveling of a statewide stay-at-home order is over.

“We believe this is a balanced and cautious, data-driven approach,” David Postman, chief of staff to Governor Jay Inslee, said of the plan dubbed “Safe Start Washington”. “I say careful. This is what these times demand.

Inslee described each of the four phases scheduled for Friday when he also extended his stay-at-home order until May 31.

Tuesday marks the first day of Phase 1. Golfers can return to their favorite course, hikers can roam through national parks and hunting and fishing is once again possible. Many construction workers are also on the sites again.

In days, auto dealerships could welcome customers and retailers could end curbside sales as the state undertakes the staged restart of public life and an economy largely on hold since mid-March to blunt the spread. of the coronavirus responsible for the deadly COVID-19.

Inslee released an update to her plan on Monday. There have been minimal changes, the most notable being that professional sporting events without an audience could be allowed in the third phase, which could start from mid-June to the end of June.

Postman and other members of the Inslee administration offered more details during an afternoon briefing for reporters.

The second phase – in which hair salons can operate and limited restaurant meals are possible – would not occur until June 1. There will be at least three weeks between subsequent phases, meaning home stay restrictions will not be fully lifted until at least early July.

But a spike in cases, hospitalizations or deaths could cause the governor to renew the restrictions at any time, officials said on Monday repeatedly. Data shows that social distancing is working in the state’s fight against the novel coronavirus, but it is too early to ease restrictions, they said.

Full reopening of the state will require widespread testing and contact tracing – to determine who has come into contact with infected people so they can self-quarantine. The state expects to receive equipment for half a million test kits this month and have 1,500 trained contact tracers deployed by May 11.

“We cannot risk losing our progress. We really want to see this until we have this safe start “so the sacrifices people have made don’t have to be made anymore,” said John Weisman, secretary of the Department of Health.

Snohomish Health District reported 2,553 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Monday, with at least 111 deaths. Of the total, 1,752 county patients have recovered. Statewide, there were 15,462 confirmed cases as of Monday, with at least 841 deaths, the state Department of Health said.

As part of Phase 1, retail stores will be allowed to offer curbside pickup. In addition, restrictions will be relaxed for landscaping, automobile, boat and recreational vehicle and pet-walking businesses. And drive-through worship services with a limit of one household per vehicle are permitted.

However, businesses in each of these sectors cannot start immediately. They must wait for guidelines specific to their industry to be issued by the governor’s office. In some cases, it should be done within days, officials said. This will be the process for each sector at each future step.

In phase 2, restaurants can open at 50% of their catering capacity with no more than five people at a single table; retail stores, hair and nail salons, hair salons and cleaning services may reopen; manufacturing and new construction may restart, and camping and gatherings with no more than five people apart from one household per week will be permitted.

The third phase will allow recreational sports of five to 50 people, gatherings of less than 50 people, all non-essential travel and open facilities like public swimming pools, libraries and museums. Restaurants could operate at 75% of their catering capacity, bars at 25% and indoor gymnasiums and cinemas at 50%. Professional sporting events without crowds are allowed in this phase.

In the final stage, the crowd size limit will be lifted, allowing the reopening of nightclubs and concert halls, restaurants to operate at full capacity and major sporting events to take place with fans. He still encourages social distancing for those most vulnerable to the disease.

Another element of the phased approach will allow counties with fewer than 75,000 residents who have not identified a resident with COVID-19 in the past three weeks to apply for a waiver to move to phase 2 before the rest of the state. Up to 10 counties could apply.

The postman admitted that there were a lot of people unhappy that they couldn’t reopen their businesses sooner.

“We hear from these people every day,” he said. “Everyone would like to improve, we understand that. ”

Some people don’t wait.

Last weekend, customers lined up for a haircut at a Snohomish barber who violated the stay-at-home order with a very public act of civil disobedience. The Licensing Department will notify the owner to ensure they understand the potential consequences, including license suspension or loss.

“The message to this company and other companies is not to do this. You could make people sick, ”Postman said, adding that some infected people could die.

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