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Mayor Jenny Durkan Issues Statement on Governor’s Update to Safe Start Washington and County Executive’s Confirmation that King County Will Apply for Modified Phase One on Monday

SEATTLE (May 29, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the below statement following Governor Jay Inslee’s update to the Safe Start Washington and King County Executive Dow Constantine’s confirmation that the County will apply for modified Phase One on Monday, June 1, 2020. The updated Safe Start plan establishes a modified Phase One, which allows certain businesses, construction and manufacturing, and outdoor recreation activities to resume under strict public health and safety guidance. You can find the Governor’s business and personal activity guidance here.  

Early this week, Public Health – Seattle & King County published a new data dashboard that tracks key indicators of COVID-19 activity in King County. As part of the new Safe Start Washington plan, counties will need to meet targets such as the number of cases and hospitalizations, current testing capacity, and the status of our health care system. These indicators are intended to provide easily accessible and transparent information to the public about King County’s current COVID-19 activity, and to help guide public health decision making regarding when to adjust physical distancing requirements. 

“Over the last 12 weeks, Seattle has been a model for the rest of the country in how to flatten the curve, save lives, and protect our health care system from becoming overwhelmed. Our region has been the epicenter of the pandemic in Washington state, and because of the efforts of our residents and businesses, we have significantly reduced COVID-19. As we are nearing the Governor’s identified targets on testing and cases, I believe that Seattle and King County are ready to enter a modified Phase One approach to reopening additional businesses,” said Mayor Durkan. “We aren’t out of the woods yet. This virus knows no boundaries and resurgence can happen quickly and exponentially if we don’t all do our part. As we begin to reopen our economy, businesses, and cultural institutions, we cannot relax all restrictions simultaneously.

“During this time, we need residents to continue wearing a face covering, practicing good hygiene, and maintaining six feet of physical distance. Our adherence to public health guidance will help ensure we continue to see measurable decreases in COVID-19 infections, transmissions, and deaths. Our choices not only help determine when and how we can continue to reopen – they save lives,” concluded Durkan. 

Businesses and residents should visit the Washington state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) website for additional reopening guidance. L&I is also available to answer questions from businesses regarding the Governor’s Safe Start Washington plans and specific business implementation questions. 

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) has a comprehensive resource page for small businesses, nonprofits, and workers impacted by COVID-19. This page will be updated as more information on the State’s guidance for reopening becomes available. The City also recently launched Seattle Protects, which is a new online marketplace to help businesses, nonprofit organizations, and residents purchase face coverings from local manufacturers.  

As Seattle and King County apply to enter a modified Phase One, physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and good hygiene remain critical. All Seattle residents are encouraged to continue to #KeepItMoving in public spaces, including parks, farmers markets, and greenways. For more information, visit the City’s COVID-19 resources page