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Pacific County moves toward normal


Last updated 9/24/2020 at 11am

Beachgoers enjoy some kite flying and outside time in Pacific County.

Pacific County was approved to move into phase two of reopening on Saturday, May 23; but even as businesses prepared to resume operations, business owners are worried they won't be able to come back from the devastation of the two-month closure.

Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman approved Pacific County for a variance to begin phase two less than 24 hours after the Pacific County Board of Commissioners voted to submit its application.

The phases are how Gov. Jay Inslee is lifting his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, which was issued on March 23 to prevent the spread of covid-19. Each phase removes limitations set by the order. Phase one, for example, allowed ongoing construction work to resume and expanded what outdoor recreation was allowed. Counties without a variance are in phase one. While each phase was estimated to last about three weeks, that is subject to change based on covid-19 activity.

The commissioners approved a plan for a full variance, which allows: new construction to begin; restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity with no bar seating allowed; hair and nail salons, as well as barbers, to see clients; and allow state parks connected to beaches to reopen for day use.

Also under phase two, the county partially lifted its hospitality lodging ban. Pacific County lifted the order as soon as it was approved for the variance. Starting Saturday, May 23, hospitality businesses with approved safety plans are allowed to reopen at a reduced capacity.

Hotels and motels with fewer than 20 units could have no more than 50% filled. Businesses with more than 20 units could have no more than 25% of its units filled, or no more than 10 rooms filled, whichever is the greater number.

Reservations for vacation rentals must be for a minimum of 24 hours between check in and check out. Pacific County changed the minimum number of hours after vacation rental owners protested the limitation. The county waived the 72 hours, but required cleaners not to go in to clean for 24 hours after a guest leaves and no rentals can have a guest for more than 15 days.

Full hookup RV parks and campsites will be allowed to fill 50% of units for self-contained RVs. Tent and dry campsites will be allowed to fill 25% of sites.

To learn more, go to https://www.chinookobserver.com/news


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