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Banner with text King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, District 2

A Call to Action

Friends and Neighbors,

The events of the last week are a call to action.

My heart is with the protestors around the country and in our community who continue to fight for justice and our collective liberation. As an elected official, it is my obligation to advance and support policies that will achieve those goals, which is why this week I launched a campaign asking elected officials at every level to pledge themselves to:

1. De-militarize the police
2. Further restrict use of excessive or deadly force by police
3. Increase accountability and transparency in police union contracts
4. Give subpoena and other investigative powers to independent oversight boards
5. Redirect police department funding to community based alternatives

These are the demands we have heard from our community and which I have pledged to advance. We will keep you up to date as we introduce legislation to reflect these efforts.

Finally, I want to continue sending information and resources related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. So please find below a series of updates pertinent to communities within our district. As always, take care and feel free to contact our office.


Girmay Zahilay


This morning I was informed that our application to move King County into a new phase in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was approved by state regulators.

Here is an overview of what’s happening in key sectors across King County:

- Restaurants

• Outdoor dining activities are allowed at 50% of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance, though additional seating will be allowed provided it follows public health guidelines. Restaurants will also need to go through the normal process within their city - or King County if the establishment is located within unincorporated King County - to seek approval to expand outdoor seating.

• Indoor dining services may operate at 25% of capacity, provided tables and chairs are more than 6 feet away from each other.

- In-store Retail

• All non-essential retail activities may operate but an establishment's occupancy may not be not be higher than 15% of capacity.

• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to less than 30 minutes, with face-to-face interactions limited to 30 minutes.

• Essential retail activities may continue to operate according to the existing state regulations.

- Personal services: Cosmetologists, Hairstylists, Barbers, Estheticians, Master Estheticians, Manicurists, Nail Salon Workers, Electrologists, Permanent Makeup Artists, Tattoo Artists, Cosmetology Schools and Esthetics Schools

• All activities may operate but the number of clients served will be limited to no more than 25% of capacity or one person if it is a single bed/chair studio.

- Professional services: Accountants, architects, attorneys, engineers, financial advisors, information technologists, insurance agents, tax preparers, and other office-based occupations that are typically serving a client base

• All activities allowed but an establishment's occupancy should not be higher than 25% of capacity.

• Businesses are directed to provide signage encouraging indoor visits to be less than 30 minutes, with face to face interactions limited to 30 minutes.

- Construction

• All construction, including those activities for which social distancing may not be maintained and the start of new construction projects, is authorized to resume.

This move in the right direction is one that we have earned through our diligence and patience in fighting COVID-19 safely, responsibly, and with utmost concern for the health of others.


Gov. Jay Inslee on last week announced a new order from the state Department of Health that will require broad testing in long-term care facilities. Under the order, all residents and staff at nursing homes must be tested for COVID-19 by June 12, and residents and staff at assisted living facilities with memory care units must be tested by June 26.

Inslee said facilities where everyone was tested last month would not need to go through the testing again.


The Association of Washington Business announced a new website aimed at helping Washington businesses safely welcome back employees and customers.

The website, located at, features an online portal to connect Washington businesses with ‘Made in Washington’ manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE), plus a toolkit for small businesses to help prepare their physical spaces for reopening and assist in communicating new health and safety protocols with employees and customers. The site is free to use and available to all Washington businesses.


Do you or someone you know run a small business in unincorporated King County? If so, they may qualify for a $5,000 grant under a new program authorized by the King County Council in May.

To be eligible, a business must:

• Be active and licensed in the state of Washington, with a physical business address in unincorporated King County
• Have no more than 15 employees
• Have been in business for at least three years as of Jan. 1, 2020
• Have gross revenues of up to $1.5 million per year
• Have received no other COVID-19 related aid from any federal, state, or other nonprofit agency.

Small businesses in unincorporated areas, like Skyway, are underrepresented and under resourced, especially in times of emergency, which is why this fund is essential during the COVID-19 crisis.

Details about when and how to apply, and how to get technical and non-English language assistance, will be added to this county website as soon as it’s available.


Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that religious groups and organizations can resume some activities, including in-person services, weddings and funerals, with restrictions based on which phase the organization is in.

In counties in phase 1 of Washington’s reopening steps, which includes King County, organizations can now hold outdoor religious services on their property or adjacent property with up to 100 people, provided they wear face coverings, adhere to the six-foot social distancing guidelines and follow other steps to protect against potential exposure or spreading of COVID-19. For counties in phase 2, religious organizations can hold indoor services with 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less, also with face coverings and social distancing. These new guidelines include all worship services, study classes, ceremonies, holiday celebrations, weddings and funerals. Inslee also asked that churches collect voluntary attendee information and keep it for two weeks to aid with contact tracing in case someone later tests positive for the virus.

In all cases, organizations must follow social distancing with a full six feet between pews and between people standing and sitting, which should be identified by markings. Everyone must wear face coverings, organizations must clean and sanitize public areas frequently, educate employees about the virus and how to prevent its spread, and provide personal protective equipment to staff as needed.

Phone: 206-477-1002