Snohomish County has been approved to move into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's plan to re-open the state.

COVID-19 has forced most businesses to close or operate with restrictions, however, now officials feel is the time to start loosening those restrictions.

High-risk populations are still encouraged to continue staying home.

Outdoor recreation and gatherings are allowed as long as less than five people are in the group.

Many businesses are also allowed to re-open in Phase 2, although most will have to abide by safety regulations. Restaurants are supposed to remain under 50 percent capacity and have no table size larger than five people.

Local cities are trying to assist the economic recovery.

"Because some Marysville businesses can open we've developed a 'Getting to Safe' business kit," said Connie Mennie, communications administrator with the city of Marysville.

Those kits include guides on the state requirements, floor decals, hand sanitizer and other safety supplies.

"As they are trying to navigate what they need to do, this can help them," said Mennie.

The city is also making these kits with local resources.

"Our Emergency Management Department sourced these products locally," said Mennie, including printing work from Marysville Printing and Penway Media.

"So, it was also supporting local businesses as we were helping businesses re-open," said Mennie.

As restaurants re-open Arlington is trying to help where they can as well.

"Restaurants can re-open, although we realize it is at a low capacity," said Paul Ellis, city administrator with the city of Arlington.

"We've moved some of the picnic tables around city property where we could. The weather is getting better and we want to encourage people to get some takeout and enjoy some food," he said.

Businesses were allowed to immediately re-open, although some took a few days to be prepared.

"I know for some of the businesses it took a couple of days to get up and running," said Ellis.

City buildings are not open yet, although they are able to open under Phase 3 of the plan.

"The plan doesn't open up our city facilities yet," said Ellis.

Officials hope that city business will begin returning to normal.

"If all goes well, we will be open those city buildings soon," said Mennie.

"So, we are planning for all the exact same things that businesses are," she said.

City staff is considering how best to encourage social distancing when the re-opening happens.

"We're still encouraging people to do business online or over the phone, but if they want to come in person we want to make that safe for everyone," said Mennie.

Some of the more typical summer attractions may re-open soon as well, said Mennie, such as the Marysville splash pad.

"We're planning for concerts this summer still," said Mennie. "If they're allowed of course. A lot of these things will depend on what the state decides."

City officials are glad that residents have the ability to get out a little more now.

"Getting people outdoors seems like a positive if we can," said Mennie.

"We're happy to be able to move into Phase 2," said Ellis. "People can get out of their homes more now."

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