COVID-19 Food Establishment Guidance

Food Establishment Inspections

Safe Start Phase 2, reopening guidance documents and resources for Spokane County food establishments.


A message from the Spokane Regional Health District Food Safety Program:

Thank you for your continued efforts to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19. Your work is instrumental in helping us to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our area.

Washington is using a phased approach to reopen food establishment onsite dining. Spokane County is currently in Phase 2, which allows food establishments to be open for onsite dining after they meet all of Governor Inslee’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 Restaurant, Tavern, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries COVID-19 Requirements. However, please note that there have been several changes to Governor Inslee’s Phase 2 requirements as outlined in Proclamations 20-25 and 20-25.4.

Changes to Phase 2 Requirements

You can find the changes outlined in the following documents:

Please read these revised documents carefully and incorporate appropriate changes into your written procedure(s) to make sure your establishment is in compliance with the Governor’s directives.

What’s changed? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Bar style seating and live music are prohibited in Phase 2 and Phase 3
  • All live entertainment is prohibited
  • Reusable menus are allowed if sanitized after each use
  • Restaurants and taverns must implement a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters
  • Customers must wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated
  • Patrons must be seated at the specific seating capacities specified for each phase. Standing is prohibited, with some exceptions
  • In Phase 2 self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, and other similar communal food sources and drink stations are permitted, but must do so with certain measures in place while following COVID-19 Guidelines for Restaurants 

Food Establishment Inspections and COVID-19

Routine inspections are resuming with some adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An inspector will start the process by contacting you by phone to discuss food safety risk factors, COVID-19 prevention, and review your written procedure(s) to help ensure you are in compliance with Phase 2 requirements. A written procedure is required and must be available to the inspector during an onsite inspection.

This written COVID-19 procedure must be adopted by all food establishments operating in Phase 2 and address physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene, cleaning, communication, screening and disinfection of contaminated areas.

You can develop your own plan or use the Phase 3 Safe Start Plan Template. After the phone discussion, a representative from SRHD will conduct an on-site inspection while following all appropriate COVID-19 prevention protocols and procedures.

Guidance Documents

Gov. Inslee Phase 2 and 3 Miscellaneous Venues COVID-19 Requirements

Gov. Inslee Phase 2 and Phase 3 Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Receptions and Funerals COVID-19 Requirements (updated Oct. 5)

Gov. Jay Inslee Adjusts Safe Start Plan - Gatherings Limited, Live Entertainment Prohibited, Modifications to Restaurants/Taverns, Family Entertainment and Recreational Centers, Card Rooms, Movie Theaters, Weddings and Funerals and Safe Start Plan Adjusted

Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 Guidelines for Restaurants

Gov. Jay Inslee Phase 2 and Phase 3 Restaurant, Tavern, Breweries,Wineries and Distilleries COVID-19 Requirements

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Safe Start Plan Revisions

Spokane Regional Health District Testing, Quarantine, and Return to Work Guidance for Non-Healthcare Personnel

Gov. Inslee COVID-19 Phase 2 and Phase 3 Restaurant and Tavern Reopening Requirements

Gov. Inslee Clarifying Restaurant and Tavern Rules - Bar style seating, live music, resuming self-service buffets and salad bars

Gov. Inslee Phase 3 Safe Start Plan Template

Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 Guidelines for Farmers Markets Providing Essential Services

Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 Guidelines for Grocery Stores

Washington State Dept. of Health Guidance for Restaurants Selling Grocery-Type Items

Washington State Dept. of Health Supply Chain Issues and Conservation Strategies

Washington State Dept. of Health Food Worker and Establishment Guidance on COVID-19

If your food establishment has not yet reopened, please refer to the documents below for guidance on safely reopening.

Washington State Dept. of Health COVID-19 Food Phase 2 Establishment Reopening – Physical Facilities

Washington State Dert. of Health COVID-19 Food Establishment Phase 2 Reopening Checklist


Spokane Regional Health District COVID-19 Food Establishment Signage

Spokane Regional Health District Protect One Another from COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Symptoms of Coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Stop the Spread of Germs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Stay Home When Sick

COVID-19 Food Establishment Signage
COVID-19 Food Establishment Signage

In need of signage to help promote and educate about COVID-19 safety measures within your place of business?

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