Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board Issues New Coronavirus Guidelines 18 March

March 18, 2020

Cannabis Licensees

As you are aware from messages sent this week, cannabis retail stores are allowed to continue operating at this time.

Please make sure you and your employees practice social distancing both in and out of your business, and especially when working with customers, as well as increased hygiene and sanitation measures

COVID-19 prevention measures and mandatory actions for retail establishments:*

Based on CDC guidance and Governor Inslee’s Proclamation retail establishments must observe the following COVID-19 prevention measures:

  1.  Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees).
  • Suggestion: Take specific steps to encourage older adults age 60 and above and those with underlying health conditions not to attend. For groceries, banks, and other essential establishments, consider implementing dedicated times exclusively available for highly vulnerable populations.
  • Social distancing recommendations must be met (i.e., limit contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer).
  • Suggestion: Establishments should ask themselves: how close will people be and for how long? Ensure that your business is organized in such way to avoid close contact between people. Washington Department of Health advises that “being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes” constitutes close contact which could result in exposure.
  • Consider: If your store’s traffic meets the DOH criteria above, what can you do to mitigate that? Possibilities may include setting limits on the number of people you allow in your store, marking out 6 –foot intervals with tape on the ground for lines, moving to an app (such as waitlist.me, skiplino or others) that allows customers to queue in their cars.
  • Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic.
  • Suggestion: Have a plan to screen employees or volunteers every day. CDC guidelines identify the key symptoms to watch for as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Signage should discourage attendance for any person who has these systems.
  • Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees.
  • Suggestion: Provide ready access to hand sanitizer and hand sanitizer stations and request employees and customers to abide by personal hygiene recommendations. CDC recommends that people wash their hands often, and if soap and water is not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Environmental cleaning guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently).
  • Suggestion: Ensure a clean and sanitary environment. Have employees disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails. CDC provides detailed environmental and disinfection recommendations.

*Seattle/King Co. Dept. of Health

Additional Information

We appreciate your effort to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus while still trying to operate your business.

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