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Share Input on COVID-19 Public Health Requirements for Businesses

The Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) is seeking input on a public health measure that’s been in effect since mid-July and requires businesses to follow state-mandated business requirements, including use of protective face coverings, social distancing and adhering to capacity limits.

FAS issued the temporary measure last month following a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The measure was developed in partnership with King County and created through use of an Emergency Director’s Rule. Under Seattle Municipal Code, the Director of FAS is authorized to adopt, publish and enforce all rules necessary to implement, interpret, administer and enforce city code for the purpose of licensing and regulating businesses.

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the state, the department seeks to make the temporary measure a permanent rule through the duration of the pandemic. As part of this process, FAS is asking for input from businesses on how it can support them in implementing the rule requirements.

“This rule is about public health and protecting the health and safety of our community,” said Calvin W. Goings, Director of the Department of Finance and Administrative Services. “We view Seattle businesses as partners in this work and our focus has been and will remain on outreach and education to ensure patrons and employees stay safe and healthy.”

As part of its education and outreach efforts, the department has distributed one-page flyers in seven languages to businesses, launched a web page and partnered with the Office of Economic Development on an e-mail campaign to help reinforce the state-mandated business requirements created to help protect employees and business patrons. 

Businesses with repeated and/or egregious offenses face having their City of Seattle business license suspended and may be charged with a crime that carries a maximum penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Members of the public can view the draft rule on the FAS website. Public comments should be provided by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, and can be submitted by: 

City of Seattle
Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services
Attention: Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 94785
Seattle, WA 98124-7085