For food service establishments
Starting June 30, the State of Washington is removing most COVID-19 restrictions. This means that most businesses and organizations may choose to operate as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements. However, COVID-19 is still present in our communities. Any organization or business may choose to maintain capacity limits or physical distancing, and may require masks – and these are required in some settings. Mask requirements will follow the state health order. The best protection for individuals and communities is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, please see our FAQ and blog. We are working to update our webpages to reflect these changes.
After closing their doors to help weather the onset of COVID-19, businesses are gradually welcoming back the customers who are the lifeblood of the Seattle and King County economies. This page contains recommendations for public health regulated businesses such as restaurants as we safely re-open.
All businesses and organizations can support a safe re-opening. Follow Washington state guidance to protect your employees and customers, with proper indoor air ventilation, vaccination efforts, and mask guidelines. All businesses and organizations are required to post signs explaining their mask policy.
All unvaccinated employees and customers are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, with reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities, as described in the State Health Order on Face Coverings. Any organization may choose to require all customers and employees to wear masks.
Fully vaccinated employees do not have to wear a mask or physically distance at work, unless their employer still requires it. But, Washington Labor & Industries requires employers to verify that employees are fully vaccinated.
Employers in King County must notify Public Health – Seattle & King County if they suspect COVID is spreading in their workplace.
- Guidance for reopening buildings after prolonged shutdown or reduced operation, CDC
- Guidance for rodent prevention and control for reopening buildings during COVID-19
Buildings or spaces that have been unoccupied for a period of time may be at risk of rodent infestations. Rats and mice are common pests in King County and the following are some tips to help you reopen your building safely. Even if you continued your pest control services during quarantine, you should still take extra precautions concerning rodents as you move back into your building.
- Flush building water system, WA State Dept. of Health
- Review further guidance on reopening after a building closure, American Industrial Hygiene Association
- Washington paid sick leave
Employees have rights, and employers have significant responsibilities under Washington's Paid Sick Leave law, which was passed by voters in 2016 as part of Initiative 1433. As of Jan. 1, 2018, employers in Washington state are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees.
- Washington paid family leave
Paid Family and Medical Leave is a benefit for Washington workers. It's here for you when a serious health condition prevents you from working or when you need time to care for a family member, bond with a new child or spend time with a family member preparing for military service overseas.
- City of Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time
The City of Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance requires employers operating in Seattle to provide all employees with paid leave to care for themselves or a family member with a physical or mental health condition, medical appointment, or a critical safe issue.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Contact/Where to get more information from King County
- Non-medical questions about COVID-19 including compliance and business related issues?
- If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff.