On October 21, 2020 Gov. Jay Inslee announced updated guidance for religious and faith based organizations as part of Washington’s Safe Start phased reopening plan.

The religious and faith-based guidance is updated to:

  • Clarify that physical distancing between non-household members must be 6 feet in all directions; and
  • Permit brief physical contact among up to five individuals, excluding religious leaders, if the brief contact is a critical component to the organization’s religious service, so long as masks are worn and hands are sanitized immediately before and after the contact.

Read the full guidance document here.

Find a full list of current reopening guidance here.


With continuing reports of COVID-19 outbreaks at spiritual gatherings as counties have advanced to Phases 1.5, 2, and 3 of the Safe Start Plan, the Governor still strongly encourages religious leaders and communities to conduct services remotely. Alternatively, drive-in services are permitted in all phases and capacity limits do not apply. Counseling services are essential and may be permitted in-person, if remote counseling is not viable.

In addition to remote and drive-in services, religious and faith-based organizations are permitted to conduct the following activities, provided all requirements in this document are met:

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