Clark County’s request to move to Phase 2 of the Safe Start Washington plan has been approved.
State Secretary of Health John Wiesman notified Public Health on Friday morning that Clark County’s request to move to Phase 2 is approved. The change is effective immediately. Clark County is now in Phase 2, which allows for small gatherings and the reopening of a variety of businesses.
“I’m pleased to see Clark County move into Phase 2 of the reopening plan, allowing many of our businesses to reopen and our residents to get back to work,” said Clark County Council Vice Chair John Blom. “But this doesn’t mean we’re back to business as usual. Gathering sizes are still limited and businesses must take steps to protect the health of their employees and customers.”
Businesses approved to reopen in Phase 2 must follow industry-specific guidance issued by the governor. Businesses and industries eligible to reopen in Phase 2 include hair and nail salons, barbershops, real estate, pet grooming and new construction, among others. Retail stores can open for in-store purchases and restaurants can resume dine-in services with limitations on the number of diners.
Phase 2 also allows for small gatherings of no more than five people from outside the household per week. All outdoor recreation involving no more than five people from outside the household, such as camping and visiting beaches, can also resume in Phase 2.
Clark County can apply to move to Phase 3 of the reopening plan after three weeks in Phase 2. The county must meet metrics set by the state for case numbers, hospital capacity, testing capacity, case interviews and contact notifications, and outbreaks in order to move to the next phase.
“As people resume activities outside of the home, it’s important to continue taking precautions to keep yourself and others in the community healthy,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “The virus hasn’t gone away. We need to stay vigilant to prevent COVID-19 transmission from increasing in our community.”
While in public, people should still practice physical distancing. If you cannot stay at least 6 feet from others when in public places, you should wear a cloth face covering. Remember to wash hands frequently, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water isn’t available, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces and stay home when sick.
Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider right away to seek testing. Early testing and identification of cases enables Public Health to isolate those who are sick and quarantine their close contacts. Doing this as quickly as possible will help prevent the virus from spreading in the community.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.