FILE - Virus Outbreak Washington State

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wears a face mask as he arrives to speak at a news conference, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.  

(The Center Square) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee extended the statewide order on wearing facial coverings Thursday to all businesses while putting further reopenings on hold.

The order requiring facial coverings for all people in Washington has been in effect since June 26. 

All Washington businesses must now require customers and employees to wear facial coverings when offering service.

Inslee's "Safe Start" guidelines have now been modified to restrict bars from serving food or drink from the bar directly or allowing customers to gather at the bar in Phase 3. Table service is allowed.

The governor has additionally paused all Washington counties from advancing from their current phase of reopening until further notice.

The announcement comes on the heels of the governor's Tuesday address concerning a rapid two-week rise in COVID-19 cases in the state's rural Benton and Franklin counties.

As part of his Thursday announcement, Inslee said that the state would be working with Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties to move them into modified Phase 1 guidelines.

As of Thursday, Washington's Department of Health has reported 34,151 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. The state death toll stands at 1,342.

Staff Reporter

Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly.