North Highline Unincorporated Area Council update – including free masks and hand sanitizer!

July 1st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Holidays, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news No Comments »

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

As in our prior years, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) will not be holding July and August meetings. We will resume meetings on Thursday, September 3rd. Wishing everyone a safe, happy, warm, summer –

In the meantime, please see the info below regarding mask and hand sanitizer distribution that the North Highline Fire District in partnership with NHUAC and King County, will be handing out on July 4th.

The North Highline Fire District is Pleased to Announce

We will be distributing face masks (2 per person) and hand sanitizer (1 bottle per household) on July 4th in partnership with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council and King County.

Your firefighters work hard to ensure the safety of North Highline.

We look forward to seeing you in our community on July 4th and making sure you have the protective gear you need to stay healthy!

If you need a mask or hand sanitizer before the 4th of July, please e-mail your contact information to: office@northhighlinefd.org

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More proof it’s an un-bear-able summer: Highline Bears make the call – no 2020 season

June 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Highline Bears, Sports, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news No Comments »

You knew this was coming, but still … The Highline Bears have sent their final word on
2020:

The local summer collegiate baseball team, the Highline Bears, announced to their players this past Monday evening that they will be canceling their entire 2020 season, due to the lack of potential fields being available in a reasonable amount of time.

The Bears would have been starting their season on Friday, May 30th, but the opening night and all home events had been canceled due to Covid-19. In the letter to fans in May the Bears had stated they were planning on having the team play on the road with no fans, if permitted in phase 3. “The likelihood of Pierce and Snohomish county going to phase 3 by our deadline of July 6th and fields being available for us to play at in phase 3 was just too uncertain for us to continue to move forward,” said the General Manager, Justin Moser.

The Bears said that they lost most of their partners and sponsors when the stay at home order went in place in March. The Bears did say even though local businesses were unable to purchase advertising this summer that they will continue to offer advertising to all businesses at no cost for the next year, even though they aren’t playing.

“We were hoping to be able to have some sort of season for our players this summer but the uncertainty is just too big right now. Making our players and coaches wait even longer with the odds of playing dwindling, just didn’t seem right. It’s sad and unfortunate for a ton of reasons, I feel for our players and coaching staff. Ben Harley did an amazing job putting this team together. On paper this is the best team we’ve ever had, including 9 Division 1 players,” Moser said.

The Pacific International League that the Bears play in, are hoping they can play sometime later in July but that will be dependent on certain counties moving into phase 3 and fields being available. The league continues to meet every week to plan and discuss if playing this summer will be possible.

The Highline Bears said that they are planning to come back in 2021 “stronger, bigger and better” bringing the community the “best show in town”. Moser also said that Covid-19 has affected this like so many other businesses: “I’m not going to lie to you, this has been a huge hit to our club financially and we can use all of the support we can get from our community.”. If you would like to support the Highline Bears during this difficult time, you can purchase new 2020 merchandise on their website at shop.highlinebears.com

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TUESDAY: Drug-Free Coalition offers you the opportunity to hear from key leaders, including local youth

June 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Online, People, White Center news No Comments »

RSVP now for this sure-to-be-inspiring event coming up Tuesday:

If you can’t read it in its entirety, see the full-sized PDF version here. (The RSVP link is here.)

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FIREWORKS: Some are still legal – so if you use them, be safe!

June 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Safety, White Center news 2 Comments »

(Fireworks-caused White Center fire, 2011)

The proposal to ban fireworks in unincorporated King County fizzled this year, so they’re still legal – some types – and any fireworks stands planning to open will be able to do so starting Sunday. But remember, your safe use can be a matter of life or death – a fireworks-caused fire killed a man in North Highline last year. Here’s the story from the county:

The COVID-19 pandemic has nearly eliminated what’s typically the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Residents who use consumer fireworks need to be safe, responsible and should consider the risks of injury, property loss, and impacts to their neighborhoods.

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts says that if you decide to use consumer fireworks, please do so with caution and follow local rules and regulations. In addition, remember that social distancing and wearing a mask is required in public.

“This is not a normal year,” he says. “We’re limited in terms of how we celebrate safely as a community. People who use fireworks at their homes and in their neighborhoods need to remember that it comes with risks. It’s essential to practice fireworks safety. Last year, fireworks resulted in two deaths and 36 injuries. We don’t want that to happen again”

Although he strongly advises against using consumer fireworks, Ricketts offered a few instructions to legally and safely do so:

*Fireworks purchased from approved firework stands can only be discharged in unincorporated King County on July 4, and they must be sold by Washington State licensed retailers at approved permitted stands.

*Fireworks not purchased from a state-licensed, fireworks retailor cannot legally be discharged in unincorporated King County. They may be considered explosive material.

*If it has a stick or fins and it goes up, or if it explodes, it is illegal in Washington State.

*Fireworks are not allowed in King County Parks, per King County Code.

*Fireworks may be discharged only on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight.

*Fireworks sales can legally start at noon, June 28 through 11 p.m. After that, sales are allowed 9 a.m.-11 p.m., through July 4. You must be at least 16 years old, with photo identification, to purchase fireworks.

If you choose to buy and discharge fireworks, follow these safety tips:

*Always have a responsible adult light all fireworks.

*Use eye protection.

*Have a charged garden hose or a fire extinguisher handy.

*Use fireworks outdoors only—away from buildings, houses with wood exteriors, trees, and dry fields.

*Avoid aerial fireworks.

*Light one item at a time, move away quickly, and have everyone keep a safe distance.

*If a device does not light or fire, an adult should wait at least five minutes before approaching it.

*Clean up all debris and soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them.

*Keep pets safe (Regional Animal Services of King County provides information about fireworks safety for pets).

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ROAD-WORK ALERT: Roundabout painting next week

June 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Traffic, Transportation, White Center news No Comments »

Announced today by the county:

Beginning 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 30 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 2, parking will be temporarily removed to make room for Metro bus re-rerouting during roundabout painting work on SW 100th and SW 106th streets between 8th Avenue SW and 4th Avenue SW.

Parking will be temporarily removed in the following locations:

• North side of SW 100th Street between 4th Avenue SW and 8th Avenue SW

• Both sides (north and south) of SW 106th Street, 100-feet east of 4th Avenue SW and 100-feet west of 8th Avenue SW in White Center

This will allow King County Metro enough room to reroute buses while road maintenance crews paint the roundabout at the intersection of 8th Avenue SW and SW 102nd Street. Buses will remain rerouted for the full three days to allow time for the paint to cure. This work is weather dependent.

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PRIDE: White Center/West Seattle venues team up

June 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Fun, White Center news No Comments »

Though major Pride festivities were called off for coronavirus this year, two White Center and West Seattle establishments are offering you the chance to celebrate this weekend. Their announcement:

The Lumber Yard Bar and Admiral Pub have teamed up this weekend, June 27th-28th. Space is limited so please reserve a table for any of the events you plan to attend. We are also taking social distancing seriously, so masks are required for all events and please keep reservations to 5 or less people.

June 27th – The Lumber Yard

3 pm-6 pm
White Center Pride Fundraiser.
Grill party on the patio with raffle tickets and jello shots

8 pm – 12 am
Join us for a special one-night event to celebrate Pride with Dolly and the DJ. Limited seating available for this event in the Loading Dock. Reserve a table for you and three friends (due to social distancing). Full bar and menu available. Champagne toast to celebrate pride included.

June 28th – Admiral Pub

11 am
Pride Brunch and the movie The Birdcage
Reserve a Table for Brunch

1:30 pm
Pride Brunch and the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Reserve a Table for Brunch

4 pm
Pride Bingo
Free to play with some fun prizes

6 pm to 11 pm
DJ Andy will be spinning all your favorite music videos

The Lumber Yard Bar is at 9619 16th SW; Admiral Pub is at 2306 California SW.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME: Flare gun turns supermarket shoplifting case into robbery

June 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news No Comments »

When a shoplifting case turns violent – or threatening – that can lead to a felony criminal charge. That’s what prosecutors say happened in the case of 42-year-old Kanyel L. Boldien. He is charged with first-degree robbery for an incident at Saar’s Super Saver Foods in White Center a week ago. Court documents say Boldien was at the store early that morning with his 48-year-old girlfriend, and that she was shoplifting. When store security tried to stop her, prosecutors say, he threatened them with a stick – and then a flare gun that they thought was a firearm. Deputies arrested them at their South Delridge apartment later that day. Boldien remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. We’re not sure about his girlfriend’s status – jail records don’t show her having been booked.

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More outdoor business? King County Council passes bill to pave the way

June 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, King County, White Center news No Comments »

Being outside is safer in these COVID-19 times, and that’s the inspiration for a bill passed today by the King County Council. Here’s the announcement:

Legislation passed Tuesday afternoon by the King County Council may lead to increased flexibility for restaurants, retail shops, and providers of certain personal services across unincorporated King County.

Passed unanimously, the measure requests the County Executive allow restaurants, retail services, and providers of certain personal services to use private parking areas, other private property and adjacent sidewalks, alleys or other right-of-ways for new or additional outdoor seating or retail use.

“As our economy begins to open up, it is important that we look for ways to help businesses across the county,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who sponsored the legislation. “Different communities have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways, and the legislation passed today creates more flexibility for businesses to provide outdoor dining, retail shopping, and other services as they try to recover from this pandemic while following public health guidance. I look forward to new opportunities to do business and enjoy expanded services all across the county, including in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley!”

The measure would only apply during the county’s movement through Phases 1-3 of Washington’s Safe Start Plan. It would sunset during Phase 4.

“Let’s seize our opportunity to support innovative business ideas,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, who co-sponsored the legislation. “As King County advances through the state’s Safe Start phases, we as a County should do all we can within these Public Health guidelines to support recovery in our communities. I envision great outdoor possibilities in White Center and on Vashon!”

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RESTAURANTS: Bloom Bistro taking over ex-Biscuit Bitch space

June 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Restaurants, White Center news No Comments »

ORIGINAL SUNDAY REPORT: Thanks to Mike for the tip: The former Biscuit Bitch space at 9602 16th SW has a new tenant already, Bloom Bistro. The website says co-proprietors Marisa Figueroa and Randi Ludwig will offer breakfast with “a variety of savory and sweet breakfast dishes including freshly baked goods & vegan options” and lunch with “a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and flatbread options.” Smoothies, too. They plan to be open Thursdays-Mondays, 8 am-5 pm; we’re checking with them to see how soon they hope to open.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: “As of right now, we are planning on opening in mid-late July,” was the reply.

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FOUND DOG: 13th/100th

June 20th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Pets, White Center news 1 Comment »

From Kelly: “Found at 13th and 100th in White Center 11:30 am Saturday 6/20. Dog has been dropped off at Lien Animal Clinic 206-932-1133.”

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PHASE 2: State says King County can move ahead to the next step of reopening

June 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, Health, White Center news No Comments »

This morning, the state announced King County can move to Phase 2 of the reopening plan. For more on what that means, here’s a detailed list on the King County Public Health website.

12:36 PM: King County’s own announcement just arrived. Before reiterating that same list, it begins:

Following approval by state Secretary of Health John Wiesman, King County has officially entered Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan to allow limited business re-opening. Phase 2 allows for twice the capacity in retail, restaurants, and other businesses previously allowed in King County’s modified Phase 1 and goes into effect immediately.

“Moving to Phase 2 is another step toward economic recovery for our region, but it must go hand-in-hand with even more careful adherence to precautions from our public health experts,” said Executive Constantine. “Wearing face coverings, washing hands, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary contact can help make ours a one-way trip back to prosperity, and prevent the need to go back to stay-at-home orders.”

While there are no additional categories of businesses included in moving from modified Phase 1 to Phase 2, the operating capacity has doubled for those able to reopen. For example, restaurants can now operate with 50% of indoor capacity, and retail with 30% capacity. Businesses with questions on how to safely reopen under the state’s guidance are encouraged to call Public Health’s Business Compliance Line at 206-296-1608.

“We evaluated a number of factors to apply to move to phase two of reopening. Our healthcare system, perhaps the single most important factor, is currently well-prepared to care for COVID-19 cases as well as the other health needs of our community,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Public Health officials recommend that people keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible. Outdoors exposures are less risky than indoors, and improving indoor ventilation is recommended. In addition, people need to wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.

“Our cases have declined significantly since the peak of the outbreak in late March, and are now hovering around our target goal,” said Duchin. “Over the past seven days, however, we have seen an uptick in the number of cases compared to the previous week. With re-opening, we anticipated more cases in the community. That is why it is now more important than ever keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible and minimize unnecessary activity, especially people at increased risk for COVID-19.”

“As we move into phase 2 and for the foreseeable future, our risk will be increasing, not decreasing,” said Duchin. “COVID-19 has not gone away and we must take the ongoing risk very seriously. If we are going to be successful continuing to reopen, it’s essential that we do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 spread as we have more contact in social, recreational and work-related settings.”

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NEED FOOD? Masons visiting Saturday with free lunch

June 18th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, White Center news No Comments »

Got a call today from Mark with the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. He says they’ll be setting up in the church lot at 1320 SW 102nd, across from Steve Cox Memorial Park, at noon Saturday (June 20th), to serve lunch to anyone who needs it. Just trying to do some good in the world, he said.

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TODAY: ‘Graduation’ day for Evergreen High School’s Class of 2020

June 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Evergreen High School, Schools, White Center news No Comments »

Starting at 11 this (Sunday 6/14) morning, Highline Public Schools will stream the Evergreen High School Class of 2020 graduation celebration here:

As announced by the district:

Congratulations to the Evergreen High School Class of 2020. Our seniors have worked hard, and they deserve to be celebrated. Although a traditional graduation ceremony is not possible due to the pandemic, we have a creative way to celebrate commencement.

Seniors and families will be scheduled to rotate through a drive-through graduation ceremony at Evergreen High School on Sunday, June 14. Wearing their cap and gown, each student will receive their diploma cover, get a professional photo taken, and be cheered on by teachers and staff with appropriate social distancing. Students will also receive senior awards, yearbook, graduation programs and Class of 2020 memorabilia.

It will be different than a traditional commencement with the whole class together. However, everyone will have a chance to be honored in front of their families, see the teachers who have supported them, and be at their school one last time.

Location: Evergreen Parking Lot
Address: 830 SW 116th St.
Date: Sunday, June 14
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Full details for grads and their families are here.

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WHITE CENTER PRIDE: The flag is up!

June 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN/WSB photo)

As previewed, tonight brought the White Center Pride flag-raising to Triangle Park at 16th/Roxbury/Delridge. The flag went up during a ceremony streamed online. This year, organizers explain, they’re flying “the progress flag, which celebrates POC and Trans communities, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.”

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County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

June 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, King County, White Center news Comments Off on County’s help for small businesses: Sign up for coaching

The announcement is from the King County Department of Local Services:

Business owners in unincorporated King County can call or sign up online to receive business assistance coaching. This service is provided under the $4 million Small Business Assistance Program, approved by the King County Council in May, to help businesses in the unincorporated areas recover from the impacts of COVID-19-related closures.

King County Local Services is contracting with two U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institutions, Business Impact NW and Ventures, to provide the technical assistance to small businesses in unincorporated King County that have been hurt by COVID-19 and related public health measures.

Over-the-phone coaching will be available to businesses directly, as well as to local chambers of commerce and other community business organizations that serve businesses in these areas.

If needed, language interpreters will work with coaches and business owners during the technical assistance sessions. To access services in a language other than English, businesses should leave a phone message including the name of the language they speak. They will receive a call back from a coach and interpreter within two business days.

If you own a business in unincorporated King County, technical assistance coaches can help you with:

Information about the latest (federal, state, and local) funding and loan resources
Assistance with utility bills
Filling out grant or funding application forms
Coaching to help your business survive the impacts of COVID-19 closures

To access this technical assistance, call 206-331-3275 and leave a message. A coach will call back within two business days.

To learn more about this program, visit www.kingcounty.gov/localbusinesshelp.

The Small Business Assistance Program will also include a grant program to help small businesses in unincorporated King County “keep the lights on.” That program is set to launch later this month.

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PHOTOS/VIDEO: March for Black Lives in White Center – ‘The revolution is here’

June 10th, 2020 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 6 Comments »

5:36 PM: The Community March for Black Lives had hundreds of people filling 16th SW south of Roxbury, and now they’re on Roxbury headed back toward the starting point at Greenbridge. Much more coverage to come.

8:41 PM: Adding photos, first from the gathering at Greenbridge Plaza:

Above is Semone Andu, who told the crowd at the plaza, “We are living in a historic moment … The revolution is here!” He said that revolution would dismantle “the capitalist system built on the bones, blood, and labor of indigenous people.” He called this the “time of the great confrontation” and warned that no one has “the luxury of being a bystander … Holding a sign is not enough … you need to do the work.” Also speaking, Marisha Tolliver:

And from 16th SW, after the participants marched south on 8th, west on 102nd, and north on 16th:

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TUESDAY: King County Council public hearing on proposal to enable ‘microhousing demonstration project’ in White Center

June 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Development, housing, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on TUESDAY: King County Council public hearing on proposal to enable ‘microhousing demonstration project’ in White Center

Tuesday afternoon’s King County Council meeting has a public hearing of note for White Center – on what is in essence a rezoning proposal that would allow “a microhousing demonstration project…(that) may include residential space for up to 60 people.” No specific project or site is outlined in the proposal, but it would allow the project on any of 375 properties in this described area:

… generally bounded by SW Roxbury Street on the North, 12th Ave SW on the East, SW 107th Street on the South, and 19th Ave SW on the West.

The hearing notice says the proposal is aimed at “adopting provisions for a microhousing demonstration project” – microhousing being the term for very small studio apartments, potentially with multiple units sharing, for example, one kitchen. It also includes a specific proposal for Vashon Island as well as the rezoning for White Center. The potential WC project would “encourage development of housing that is affordable to low and moderate income individuals.” While the council-packet documents say, “The specific location of the urban demonstration project has not been identified,” they also include specifications such as that the building(s) could be up to 60′ high.

You can go here to find all the documents for the proposal. The “SEPA checklist’ has the most details; you can also read the full text of the legislation. Go here to see how to plug into the 1 pm Tuesday meeting. That’s also the link to follow if you’d like to sign up to comment during the meeting, which will be streamed here.

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‘Community March for Black Lives’ in White Center on Wednesday

June 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off on ‘Community March for Black Lives’ in White Center on Wednesday

As announced for Wednesday (June 10th):

People of White Center, we stand together in solidarity to fight for justice for our black brothers and sisters.

-We will gather at Greenbridge Plaza at 4 pm
-Hear from community members and leaders
-Begin Peaceful March towards 16th AVE at 5 pm .

Please bring your face mask.

The plaza is on 8th SW just south of Roxbury.

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White Center Pride: Flag-raising postponed to Saturday, June 13th

June 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Pride: Flag-raising postponed to Saturday, June 13th

As previewed here last month, White Center Pride had intended to have tts virtual flag-raising this weekend. but instead:

Out of deep respect for the Black Lives Matters movement, we have decided to postpone our flag raising ceremony to Saturday, June 13 at 6 pm. We want this weekend to be dedicated to honoring the life of George Floyd.

You can go here for details on how to watch this Saturday’s event.

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BUSINESSES: King County gets ‘modified Phase 1’ reopening OK

June 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Coronavirus, White Center news 2 Comments »

Just in – King County’s “modified Phase 1” approval from the state. Here’s the announcement:

With new state health officials’ approval today, restaurants and retailers will be allowed to serve customers in their establishments, in addition to other modified openings for a wide range of businesses and activities. Public Health – Seattle & King County will monitor transmission trends, medical capacity and other key indicators to help inform further reopening decisions.

A plan drafted by King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and King County Board of Health Chair Joe McDermott and approved today by state Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman immediately allows limited and modified openings for a wide range of businesses, recreation, and personal activities in King County.

Businesses are required to follow the state Department of Health’s specific guidance but must adjust their occupancy to the levels identified below. The State defines an establishment’s capacity as the fire code. The intent is to limit business operations to a level that allows for social distancing. Additionally, businesses in retail, professional services, and real estate must take steps to reduce indoor operations to thirty minutes. This is not meant to be timed to the second – no one is expected to have a stopwatch – but customers should be informed why it is important to limit close interactions.

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

Restaurants
• Outdoor dining activities is allowed at 50 percent of capacity with all tables and chairs maintaining 6 feet of distance, though additional seating will be allowed provided it follows Public Health – Seattle & King County’s best practices. 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 percent of capacity, provided such 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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.

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