For community and faith-based organizations
The State of Washington has removed most COVID-19 restrictions, but COVID-19 is still present in our communities. If you're not vaccinated, masks are still required in most settings. For more information about what's required, please see our Safe Reopening FAQ and blog. We are working to update our webpages to reflect these changes.
This page offers resources and tools for organizations, faith and cultural leaders to engage with the communities they serve, including people who are unsheltered, communities with limited English proficiency, people who are undocumented, LGBTQ and BIPOC communities, as well as frontline workers.
Reopening guidance for nonprofit, community-based organizations, and religious and faith-based organizations
The State of Washington is removing most COVID-19 restrictions, allowing nonprofits and community-based organizations (CBOs), religious and faith-based organizations (FBOs), and other organizations to operate at full capacity and regular hours, with no physical distancing requirements. State mask guidance remains in effect.
CBOs and FBOs can support a safe re-opening to protect staff, clients, and community, with proper indoor air ventilation, vaccination efforts, and mask guidelines. All 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 CBO and FBO employees do not have to wear a mask or physically distance at work unless their employer still requires it. But employers must verify that employees are fully vaccinated, following guidance from Washington Labor & Industries.
Public Health—Seattle & King County continues to promote these protective steps:
- Get vaccinated if you are eligible and encourage others. When more people are vaccinated, each community is better protected. Vaccines are free and available at dozens of community locations, and mobile vaccination can come to your organization.
- Keep a mask with you – and wear it when asked. Anyone who is unvaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public spaces, as described in the Washington state masking order. The state order also requires everyone to wear masks in some settings, including schools, healthcare, homeless service sites, and correctional facilities.
- Improve indoor air ventilation and filtration. We have learned how easily the virus spreads indoors, especially in crowded spaces. Businesses and all organizations with indoor facilities should start now to improve air ventilation and filtration. This will help prevent future outbreaks as we get into cooler weather. (More information available at Improving Indoor Air)
- Outdoors is better than indoors, for gatherings. COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors than outdoors. If you're planning or attending large gatherings, the risks are lower outdoors.
- Get tested if you have symptoms or an exposure. COVID-19 is still spreading, and the new variants are even more contagious. Getting tested allows you to take steps to protect family and friends. Testing is free.
- Encourage frequent hand washing and practicing good hygienic habits.
Specific to Religious and Faith-Based Organizations
Public Health recognizes that places of worship are more than a place to pray; they provide community and healing, especially for injustices past and present, particularly against Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is even more important as marginalized communities are those hit hardest by COVID-19.
Resources for reopening
- Current guidance on who can open and how to keep staff, volunteers, and clients safe.
- Serving food? See our recommendations to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and guidance for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
- What to do if an employee or volunteer is diagnosed with COVID-19
- Frequently asked questions for religious and faith-based organizations
- Face protection for housing and shelter staff working in close contact with people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection
- Mask guidance in King County, including how CBOs and FBOs can apply for free face coverings.
It is crucial that we all stay informed on the latest information regarding COVID-19. The Speaker's Bureau provides presentations with the latest information, resources, and guidance's for COVID-19 to the community.
Learn more about how we can work with you to provide your organization with a presentation about COVID-19 and any relevant topics that your community is looking for.
Public Health — Seattle & King County convened representatives from various community, business, and government sectors in King County who are working together to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by accelerating the use of the recommended and required community mitigation strategies.
- Office of Equity and Social Justice
- COVID-19 Community and Small Business Resource Guide
The resource guide is a tool that was requested by community leaders. It includes the following information:
- How to apply for unemployment
- Housing resources
- Information on utilities and internet
- Cash assistance
- Food assistance
- Childcare resources
- Resources for undocumented communities
- Small business loans and disaster assistance
- In-language resources
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.
Viruses don't discriminate. Misinformation about coronavirus can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. We're stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination. Take advantage of these resources to prevent, interrupt, and respond to stigma. The anti-stigma resources page includes the following:
- Anti-stigma social media kit
- Poster: Viruses Don't Discriminate and Neither Should We
- Poster: Coronavirus and Stigma
Link/share our site at kingcounty.gov/covid/faith