Fri, May 7, 2021
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Inslee changes restaurant requirement

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Through Sunday, according to the Washington Dept. of Health, another 145 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, bringing the total to 18,433, including 1,001 deaths.

Friday, Inslee did a turnaround and said that now restaurants will not be required to get customers' contact information as initially ordered. Last Monday (May 11), Gov. Jay Inslee outlined metrics that counties must reach before they are allowed to enter Phase 2 of his Safe Start plan. Counties with less than 75,000 residents and have not had a new coronavirus case over a three-week period can apply for a variance to enter Phase 2 before other parts of the state. If approved, the counties may enter Phase 2 immediately. It allows restaurants to resume operations at limited capacity. Inslee's office said that instead, businesses are asked to keep a list of those who voluntarily provide contact information.

"We are asking visitors to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure. We only need information for one person per household. If we learn you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your visit, the information will only be shared with public health officials. They will contact you to explain the risk, answer questions and provide resources. This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, it will be destroyed," Inslee said. "This will not be required of anyone."

Gov. Inslee announced the extension of Proclamation, strengthening emergency protection for domestic violence victims amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The proclamation extension was previously denied by Republicans, with House Republican Leader Wilcox only agreeing to extend the proclamation by a day, and Senate Republican Leader Schoesler refusing to extend the proclamation altogether.

Last Friday's letter from the Legislature extends the proclamation until June 15, and requires that where personal service is not used, service should still be through methods that can include an acknowledgment of receipt (email, text message, facsimile, or through social media applications).

Gov. Inslee announced the launch of a statewide contact tracing plan last Tuesday (May 12) that will allow more businesses to open and more people to be active in public while helping to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Contact tracing is another tool in our toolbox for tackling COVID-19 in Washington," Inslee said. "While we need to continue physical distancing, this will allow us to get a better handle on who gets sick and how the virus is spread, which is vital to re-opening our economy."

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