Clark County restaurants can begin planning for reopening, but dining areas must remain closed until Phase 2
Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance this week for partially reopening restaurant and tavern dining areas. Clark County food establishments are encouraged to use this guidance to prepare for reopening, however, local restaurants cannot reopen their dining areas at this time.
The governor’s Safe Start plan, which has four phases, allows for limited reopening of restaurant dining areas during Phase 2. The state entered Phase 1 on May 5, and the governor’s criteria for reopening require at least three weeks between phases.
Some of the state’s smaller counties that met certain criteria have been granted variances to enter Phase 2 early. Clark County is not eligible for a variance and remains in Phase 1.
Business owners should monitor the state COVID-19 website and the Clark County Public Health website for additional guidelines for reopening food establishments in the coming weeks. Food establishment owners can contact their assigned Public Health inspector to discuss plans for reopening when Clark County enters Phase 2.
Public Health’s food safety team continues to conduct inspections of food establishments preparing food for delivery, take-out and drive-through services. Public Health staff is also assisting food workers and establishment owners to incorporate additional measures into their daily business practices, such as physical distancing between employees and customers, sanitization of high-touch surfaces, and employee health screenings.