The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

Governor Inslee gives Columbia County the green light for Phase 2


DAYTON—Columbia County is one of five counties in Washington that has been approved to move from Phase I to Phase II of Governor Jay Inslee’s Phased Approach for Reopening Washington Plan.

Eligible businesses on the list for Phase II may open only after the state publishes its guidelines for that specific sector. The state is working to complete the guidelines and will publish each of them as they are finalized. Individual businesses are allowed to reopen when they have the ability to implement those guidelines.

In her newsletter on Friday, Port of Columbia Executive Director Jennie Dickinson said Columbia County agencies are working together to provide support to local businesses and residents as the county moves towards implementing Phase 2. ‘Columbia County First’ will likely be the mantra for providing services in Phase 2, because of concerns about how to manage an influx of visitors from other communities with higher infection rates.

She said plans are being made to provide local businesses with operational guidelines, along with a starter kit of personal protective equipment, sanitizer, gloves and masks.

Dickinson said keeping our citizens safe is a top priority for the public health department, and local agencies are working together to find a balance between allowing businesses to operate and protecting the population.

“Be assured our public health department is doing everything they can to respect the health of our citizens, while honoring the ability of many of our businesses to resume operations,” Dickinson said.

Phase 2 guidelines can be accessed at:


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