Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Nov 19, 2020

WASHINGTON: Governor tightens COVID-19 restrictions statewide

COVID-19Safety and Health 

On November 15, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee tightened down COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions throughout the state by significantly limiting social gatherings, recreation, and certain indoor activities through December 14, 2020. These latest restrictions roll back some of the reopened activities previously allowed during the pandemic, but they don’t replace any of the existing industry-specific or workplace guidance, requirements, or restrictions, except where the new requirements are more restrictive. The rollback order includes these new workplace restrictions:

  • Professional Services Providers are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible and close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits. The industry-specific guidance for professional services providers has been revised to include these new requirements.
  • In-Store Retail operations are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits, and any congregate seating areas and indoor dining facilities such as food courts must be closed. The statewide guidance for in-store retail operations has been updated.
  • Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. Outdoor dining and take-out services are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining complies with existing state requirements and is limited to a maximum of five people per table. Updated guidance for restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries, and distilleries was just released.
  • For Miscellaneous Venue providers, including convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in hotels, events centers, and substantially similar venues, all retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely, as well as all court and judicial branch-related proceedings, are allowed, and are limited to 25 percent of indoor occupancy or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Revised statewide guidance specific to venue providers is now available.

The Governor’s Proclamation 20-25.8 and related COVID-19 Guidance contain a complete list of these new restrictions. The full guidance for specific businesses and industries can be found on the Governor’s COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers webpage.

Tips: Review the new statewide order to determine whether you need to make any adjustments to your business operations. For example, retail establishments that have been allowed to offer in-store shopping at up to 50 percent of occupancy limits are now reduced to 25 percent occupancy. All of the state’s other COVID-19 restrictions, requirements, and guidance still apply. Employers in the manufacturing industry should still be following the procedures in our Model Policy, Washington Manufacturing Facility COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan. You can find a complete collection of Vigilant’s articles on these restrictions, and our other COVID-19 related materials, on our COVID-19 resources page.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.