This afternoon, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that effective immediately, BOTH Benton and Franklin Counties are to proceed to Phase 2 of the Washington State Safe Start Program.

While Safe Start still remains paused, there has been a leveling out in COVID risk between Benton and Franklin counties and the rest of the state since the pause took effect in July, according to a statement from the Governor's office. "Under the circumstances, the governor believes it is appropriate to align these 5 counties (Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Douglas and Chelan) with the rest of the region."

Click here to find out what-means-what in each Phase of the Governor's Safe Start Plan.

Benton and Franklin Counties are in Phase 2
Benton-Franklin Health District works with the Washington State Department of Health and the Governor's office to discuss community progress and advocate for additional activities for our communities.Businesses allowed to reopen are required to follow the state guidance and must:
  1. Sign a business pledge that they will follow all COVID-19 guidance.
  2. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan - and submit it by email or in person to the county in which the business is licensed.
  3. Post the COVID-19 Safety Plan at the front of the business.
  4. Require face coverings for employees and customers and post signs that face coverings are required.

Plans must be submitted to the county in which the business is licensed.

Business/activities not listed may not move from their status in Modified Phase 1 including but not limited to:

  • Retail events such as receptions, holiday bazaars, craft shows, networking events, sporting events with spectators, and live entertainment.

The Department of Health's Washington Non-Healthcare COVID-19 Workplace Guidance  information is available here.

Here are some activities that are now fine and dandy.


  • Some adult and youth sports
  • Some outdoor recreation like races with more than 12 participants


  • Remaining Manufacturing
  • Additional Construction Phases
  • In-home services (nannies and cleaning)
  • League-play Bowling
  • Libraries and Museums at 25% capacity
  • Movie theaters at 25% capacity
  • Personal Services (Hair and nail salons, Barbershops, tattoo parlor, etc.) at 50% capacity
  • Restaurants at 50% capacity
  • Limited indoor fitness and training

Religious Services

  • Indoor services at 25% room capacity or 200 people whichever is less

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