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Emergency Alert
Columbia County
341 E. Main St.
Dayton, WA 99328


Columbia County

Posted on: May 8, 2020

NOTICE: Columbia County Moves to Phase II of Reopen Washington Plan

On May 1, 2020 Governor Jay Inslee announced Washington’s Phased Approval for reopening business and modifying physical distancing measures. 10 counties were selected to apply for a variance request to go from Phase I to Phase II to Secretary of Health, Dr. John Wiesman. Columbia County entered Phase I of “reopening Washington” on May 5, 2020. Columbia County was selected as one of the 10 counties eligible to apply due to our low number of positive cases, and not having a positive case within the past 3 weeks. Columbia County Public Health submitted our variance request on May 4, 2020. The variance has been approved for Columbia County to move forward to Phase II, with no modifications, with business and modifying physical distancing measures. Phase II will go into effect in Columbia County on May 8th, 2020 with conditions outlined below.
Conditions of opening:

1. An individual Phase II business sector (e.g., manufacturing, new construction, retail, restaurants, etc.) may reopen only AFTER the state publishes its guidelines for the specific sector. The state is quickly working to finalize these and will publish each of them as each is finalized. After it does, an individual business is only allowed to reopen after it can implement those guidelines. The guidelines can be accessed at https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/safe-start .

2. You may not proceed to Phase III of Governor Inslee’s Phased Approach to Reopening Washington Plan without further authorization. In no case will authorization to move to the next phase be given without at least a three (3) week monitoring period
Other conditions will be the responsibility of Public Health and will be released at a later date....

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Subject to the conditions in this variance, the activities and business services listed in Phase II of Governor Inslee’s Phased Approach to Reopening Washington Plan are now permitted in Columbia County and exempt from the Stay Home – Stay Health Proclamation’s prohibitions. These activities and business services are:

• Recreation: Outdoor recreation involving 5 or fewer people outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.)
• Gatherings: Gather with no more than 5 people outside your household per week
• Travel: Essential travel and limited non-essential travel for Phase I & II permissible activities
• Businesses/employers:
Remaining manufacturing
Additional construction phases
In-home/domestic services (nannies, housecleaning, etc.)
Retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions)
Real estate
Professional services/office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)
Hair and nail salons/barbers
Pet grooming
Restaurants/taverns

People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit their participation in these Phase II activities and business services. High-risk populations are currently defined by the CDC as:

• Persons 65 years of age and older;

• People of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled), including:
People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,
People who have serious heart conditions,
People who are immunocompromised,
People with severe obesity,
People with diabetes,
People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and
People with liver disease; and

• People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
We continue to recommend all people living in Columbia County take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza:

• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.

• Take care of yor health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.

• Stay Home. If you are feeling sick with mild symptoms and do not need to seek medical care, stay home while you recover.
Columbia County Public Health appreciates the dedication our residents have shown to keep our county Healthy and Safe. Your “Stay at Home” practices have allowed us to accelerate to Phase II of reopening.
For more information:

• Washington Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

• CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

• CDC travel notice: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

• WHO page: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus
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