OLYMPIA – Retail stores in Washington can resume limited operations with new rules on protection for employees and curbside delivery for customers ordering online or by phone.
State officials also announced rules Friday that will allow landscapers and dog-walkers to resume work.
The rules for retail stores in what Gov. Jay Inslee calls Phase 1 of restarting the economy allows employees to return to work but doesn’t let customers in the stores to shop.
Employees should be limited to those needed to provide curbside delivery and must be provided with protective equipment, including masks. They should keep at least 6 feet of distance between each other, and follow hand-washing and other sanitation guidelines.
Customers can purchase goods online or over the phone, with the items brought to the curb and put in the customer’s vehicle or delivered to the home and left on the doorstep or another designated location.
Stores in malls must take the goods outside to a designated pickup area, which might be color coded or marked so the customer can easily locate it. Delivery tools like hand-trucks and dollies must be sanitized frequently during the day.
Each store must have a COVID-19 supervisor who monitors the health of employees and enforces the safety plan. A worker may refuse to perform unsafe work without fear of reprisal from an employer, and workers who are high-risk because of age or medical conditions must have the option of leave or unemployment benefits if an alternate work arrangement isn’t possible.
Guidelines for landscapers also require 6 feet of separation on job sites and workers to wear face masks, plus other protective gear if that’s required by state Labor and Industries Department rules. They should have access to a place for frequent hand-washing and disposable gloves if they share tools or other items.
Employees should be screened for signs of COVID-19 at the start of each shift, and any job site with six or more employees must have a COVID-19 supervisor to monitor health and enforce the safety plan.
Requirements for pet-walking businesses are similar. Six feet of separation is required between staff and customers, face masks must be worn on the job and frequent hand-washing and sanitizing of regularly touched surfaces is mandatory.
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