News Flash

Health - Public Health News

Posted on: August 12, 2020

Phase 2 Refresher

All Washington counties are on an indefinite pause of the Safe Start Washington plan, as COVID-19 case counts have continued to rise throughout the state. Whatcom County is currently in Phase 2. Here’s a quick reminder of what is and isn’t allowed in Phase 2.

What’s allowed?

  • Small social gatherings of up to five people are allowed. Keep the number of people you see each week to just five people who you don’t live with. Check out our News Flash on Finding your Five.
  • Outdoor recreation like going to the park or camping is allowed as long as it involves five or fewer people from outside your household. Always check with campgrounds and recreation facilities before you go for any additional rules and restrictions.
  • Retail stores, drive-in movie theaters, libraries (curbside pick-up only), professional services, nail and hair salons, barbers, and pet groomers are open, with some restrictions.
  • Outdoor spiritual or religious services with up to 200 people, and indoor spiritual or religious services with up to 25% of capacity or 200 people.
  • Restaurants are open at <50% capacity with table sizes no larger than five. Indoor dining is only allowed for members of the same household.
  • Bars and taverns are open at <50% capacity, and indoor seating is not allowed.
  • Limited indoor fitness and training facilities can open if they can provide 300 square feet of distance per person and up to 25% capacity.
  • Outdoor fitness classes with a maximum of eight people from different households.

What’s still on hold?

  • Recreational facilities, like water slides and arcades.
  • Outdoor group recreational sports activities.
  • Movie theaters, libraries and museums.
  • Nightclubs and live entertainment.
  • Large outdoor recreational and social gatherings.

Have a concern or want to know more?

More information about what’s open and closed can be found on the Washington State Safe Start web page.

If you have a concern or a complaint about a business not following state COVID requirements, such as opening before they are allowed to or not enforcing mask-wearing, you can report it at

Keep up healthy habits

Continue to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Keeping your gatherings small.
  • Wearing a mask.
  • Staying home if you don’t feel well.
  • Washing your hands often.

Using masks is one of the best tools we have to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This includes any time we are outside and unable to maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. To learn more about when and where to wear a mask, read our newsflash

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