Jefferson County COVID-19 Safe Start Update
Starting on June 1, 2020, in Jefferson County, Restaurant sit-down service and in-store Retail are officially allowed to open with conditions under Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” plan and Jefferson County’s Phase 2 variance application approved by the State. June 1st is when restaurants and retail enter Phase 2 in both Clallam and Kitsap Counties, which is the trigger for Jefferson County (Kitsap is open as of 5/28, but Clallam is open as of 6/1).
Local officials recognize there has been widespread confusion about this, given news coverage that both Kitsap and Clallam have received State approval for Phase 2. Accordingly, Jefferson County will not be initiating any enforcement complaints or actions against restaurants or retail establishments that open under Phase 2 before June 1 (but after Washington State approved both Clallam’s and Kitsap’s variance applications).
The important thing is that any in-restaurant dining or in-store retail that opens, even a few days “early,” be fully compliant with the State COVID-19 safety guidance (click on link), as well as the Jefferson County Health Officer’s Directive on masking (click on link).
Jefferson County in Phase 2 of “Safe Start” Reopening Plan
On May 23, 2020, Jefferson County received approval to move into Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” phased approach for resuming recreational, social, and business activities, subject to conditions. Every phase will still require social distancing and appropriate health precautions including the use of personal protective equipment in a number of workplaces. Use of a cloth face covering is required by a Jefferson County Health Officer directive on masks. Guidance and safety criteria for reopening can be found on the “Safe Start” webpage. Indoor retail sales and restaurant sit-down service in Jefferson County officially enters Phase 2 opening on June 1. Camping remains prohibited until Clallam County also opens for camping.
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (“Fund”) was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Grants will be awarded as soon as possible to those individuals who meet the prescribed eligibility criteria, as reviewed and verified by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). This Fund is operated by the NRAEF, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workers.
Jefferson County Association of Food Banks – Feeding more people while supporting local farms
As more community members experience unemployment, the need for food bank services is rising. The Jefferson County Food Banks – in Port Townsend, Tri-Area, Quilcene, and Brinnon – are working together to increase purchasing from local farms to provide additional nutritious food and support local farms through the crisis.
Jefferson County Farmers Markets – Matching funds to secure more Federal SNAP benefits. With the increased demand for food assistance, our farmer’s markets make it possible for low-income residents to purchase food directly from local farmers. Donations will offer dollar-for-dollar matching for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT, formerly Food Stamps) at the farmer’s markets.
Community Wellness Project –Feeding caregivers in low-income families.
While closed, schools are allowed to provide food to all children up to age 18 but not their caregivers. Community Wellness Project is filling the gap by working with the Chimacum Schools to identify those families in need and coordinate the delivery of food for the caregivers.
Backpacks for Kids Port Townsend –Providing weekend food for Port Townsend kids. While schools are out and more families are facing unemployment, Backpacks for Kids Port Townsend is partnering with the Port Townsend School System to ensure all students have access to food over the weekends.
OlyCAP -Providing direct assistance for energy, rent, and food. OlyCAP is providing increased emergency funds for energy, rent, and frozen meals to people now facing unemployment. They also continue to provide childcare and meals for Head Start families. Go here if you need help.
St. Vincent de Paul – Financial assistance for basic needs for low-income people. The Society of St Vincent DePaul provides financial aid for food, gas, utilities, rent, bus passes, emergency shelter, prescriptions, medical/dental expenses, repairs, insurance, clothing, and laundry. They provide assistance while maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of those they serve.
YMCA – Providing Emergency Childcare Needs. YMCA provides licensed childcare from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Salish Coast Elementary School in Port Townsend, with a priority on children whose parents are first responders or medical professionals.
Bayside Housing & Services – Protecting people from homelessness. Bayside provides transitional housing for community members that would otherwise be homeless. Their income stream is largely from the private sector and has significantly decreased as a result of the closures. They are working to keep their at-risk residents in place through this crisis.
Big Table – help, and resources for those in the service industry.
Ways you can help:
FEMA – How to help