Variances are countywide rule changes that are submitted by a county health officer and approved by the state health officer. They replace statewide orders and can be more or less restrictive than existing orders.
Exceptions are changes made for a specific business or group of businesses in an area based on a plan developed by the business(es) for safe operation. These are proposed to a county health officer and must also approved by the state health officer.
Rather than submitting exceptions as individual businesses, it is suggested that businesses work together and submit group requests to reduce the number of individual requests for faster processing. Specific guidance on variances and exceptions is available here.
Current county variances can be found here under the Covid-19 and Approved Variance Map tabs.