For food service establishments
New temporary restrictions in King County
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 guidance for public health regulated businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores as we safely re-open. For Safe Start guidance pertaining to businesses not regulated by Public Health, please visit our Safe Start website.
To continue economic progress, it is crucial to maintain the basic health and safety precautions that have helped slow the spread of the virus: frequent cleaning and hand washing, social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and avoiding crowded places. Be sure to educate your employees about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread. Encourage workers to stay home and get tested if they feel sick.
In accordance with the statewide requirement to wear face coverings, customers and employees must wear face coverings indoors or when not able to stay 6 feet away from others. More information about the face covering requirement.
The Governor's Safe Start Proclamation requires employers in King County (in non-healthcare settings) to notify Public Health – Seattle & King County *within 24 hours* if they suspect COVID is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among their employees in a 14 day period.
- 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?
- Contact the King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line (Monday - Friday) 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at 206-296-1608, or submit a written inquiry or report online.
- For employee health, contact tracing, or testing questions, please call the COVID-19 call center at 206-477-3977.
- 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.