Greetings members of the Washougal Community. I’d like to provide you with some great news and an important update on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation as it relates to the Washougal community.
Clark County Public Health received notification this morning that Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Clark County’s request for a variance to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 under the state’s “Safe Start” plan for COVID-19 recovery. Approval is effective immediately, meaning Clark County is now in Phase 2. This is great news for our community!
We encourage you to support our local businesses by accessing professional and other services as they are available, patronizing restaurants that are open and making retail purchases from our stores that have been previously closed. The Washougal business community needs your help now more than ever.
Washington’s “Safe Start” plan outlines a four-phase approach to gradually resuming business and social activities that have been restricted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 2 of the plan allows some new business sectors and activities to resume, with limitations and safety measures in place.
Businesses and activities authorized under Phase 2 include (full list here):
- Restaurants and taverns (at <50% capacity)
- Gatherings with up to five people from outside your household per week
- Outdoor recreation with 5 or fewer people from outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.)
- Remaining manufacturing
- Additional construction phases
- In-home/domestic services
- Real estate
- Professional services/office-based businesses
- Hair and nail salons/barbers
- Pet grooming
Per the Secretary of Health’s approval, "an individual business is only allowed to reopen after it can implement the state guidelines for a safe start." Guidance for businesses and additional resources can be found on the governor’s Safe Start Page.
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.
To comply with the “Safe Start Washington” plan, all City building facilities will continue be closed to the public until we reach Phase 3. The specific timing will depend upon how the “Safe Start Washington” plan unfolds. According to the plan, public facing government offices can reopen at Phase 3. Before city building facilities reopen, we will ensure that appropriate physical distancing and sanitation practices are implemented. Council meetings will remain on a virtual platform until we reach Phase 3 or 4. Please check out our website for information on how to access the meetings at https://cityofwashougal.us.
The City is still open for business during this closure, but with limits and protocols in place consistent with guidance for appropriate social distancing. Please visit https://cityofwashougal.us/COVID19 for information about how you can access City services. We will continue to evaluate this situation as events unfold.
The situation will continue to evolve, and our response will continue to change accordingly. According to the “Safe Start” plan, there is a minimum period of three weeks between each phase. We will share additional information and updates as they are available. In the meantime, information on the state and regional response can be found on the following websites:
On behalf of the Mayor, Council and staff at the City, we extend our thanks to the Washougal community for rising to the occasion. We can all do our part to safely reopen and get through and past this situation together.
Thank you for doing your part for our community.