Public Health guidance for retail businesses

Under an order issued by King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health—Seattle & King County prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people. In addition, this local order is prohibiting public events of less than 250 people, unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk.

For retail businesses — such as grocery stores, drug stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and other retail establishments, along with transportation businesses — Public Health has issued a Guidance document that details how to comply with the new order. Retail and service operators should follow previous guidance and this additional guidance.

The new Guidance document is based on guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Some key elements of the new Guidance

We now encourage employees, onsite contractors and customers to:

  • Stop handshaking – use other non-contact methods of greeting
  • Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand-washing reminders by email
  • Promote “tap and pay” to limit handling of cash
  • Create new habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning

We encourage businesses, including retail and service operators, to think creatively about how to avoid crowding, which could include:

  • Use booking and scheduling to stagger customer flow
  • Use online transactions where possible
  • Follow guidance about limiting attendance at larger gatherings, including managing ingress, egress, and lines within the establishment

Handle food carefully

  • Limit food sharing
  • Ensure staff who handle food directly and their close contacts practice strict hygiene

For transportation businesses, taxis, and ride shares

  • Keep windows open when possible
  • Increase ventilation
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces

More information can be found in the detailed Guidance document

Originally published on 3-11-2020