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All people in Washington state age 12 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn how to get vaccinated in King County, read more about vaccination for youth, and view Public Health's Vaccine Strategy.

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As an essential business, grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 by following these practices. All grocery stores must meet the operational standards put forth by the WA Dept. of Health (DOH).

  • Limit occupancy to 50% of maximum capacity
  • Businesses that are open to the public are strongly encouraged to continue ensuring their customers and employees wear face masks. View current mask guidance for King County.
  • Apply the social distancing recommendations to lines formed inside or outside of the store. In areas of high-volume traffic, utilize spacing tools for checks and lines. Put tape on the floor to keep customers adequately spaced.

Prohibit product sampling

Conduct daily checks for symptoms of illness and ensure employees stay home when they are sick
  • Ensure that employees practice washing their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds upon first arriving to work, after using the restroom, before and after eating and frequently throughout the day. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Provide alcohol based (60%) hand sanitizers for use for both employees and customers by placing them at convenient/accessible locations. Ensure there is a way to sanitize shopping cart and basket handles –either by making wipes easily accessible to customers or by having employees manage the process and sanitize between each customer use.
  • Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects such as electronics, door knobs, faucet handles, counter tops, cash machine key pads, and shopping cart handles frequently throughout the day. Change the sanitizing solution at least once every four hours.
  • Consider temporarily assigning employees at high risk for coronavirus to non-public-contact duties, such as people with underlying health conditions, people 60 or older, those with weakened immune systems, or those who are pregnant.
  • Offer designated shopping hours for customers at high risk, including people with underlying health conditions, people 60 or older, people with underlying health conditions, those with weakened immune systems or those who are pregnant.
  • Prominently display signage in the store that communicates with customers and staff the steps being taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19. Download resources here.

Downloadable posters to print and post to help grocery stores to communicate with their customers and staff the steps they are taking to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

Poster for grocery store shoppers

Poster for
grocery store shoppers

Poster for grocery store staff

Poster for
grocery store staff


If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Environmental Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff.

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