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


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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