Counties back to Phase 1
January 7, 2021
OLYMPIA–Governor Jay Inslee announced as of January 11, his “Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery” COVID-19 plan rallies every region in the state back to Phase 1.
Washington has avoided overwhelming the health system by following safety measures. According to Inslee, physical distancing, masking, social and economic restrictions have been integral parts of his rigorous plan to manage hospital capacities and pave the way for economic recovery.
In this new reopening plan, eight regions have been established based on available health services, case data and disease mobility. The East region contains Ferry, Stevens, Pen Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Whitman, Garfield and Asotin counties. In the South-Central region Kittitas, Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla and Columbia counties are grouped. North Central region contains Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas and Grant. Northwest regions are Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason. Southwest region contains Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum. The West region is Grays Harbor, Leis, Pacific and Thurston. North region is Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom. Puget Sound region is Snohomish, King and Pierce.
“Our intent is to ensure that regions, the communities within them, and our state as a whole have a balanced path toward recovery from the pandemic that relies on multiple key metrics that look at disease trajectory and health system capacity,” said Deputy Secretary for COVID Response Lacy Fehrenbach. “This plan offers the start of clear way forward as we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19, while we get more people vaccinated over the next few months.”
To clear a path to Phase 2, each region must reach a two-week decrease in COVID-19 cases greater than 10%; a decrease in COVID-19 hospital admission greater than 10%; ICU occupancy of both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, less than 90%; and less than 10% positive COVID-19 tests.
To remain in Phase 2, regions must decrease or flat trend in COVID-19 cases, decrease of flat trend COVID-19 hospital admissions (per 100K population); have less than 90% ICU occupancy for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients; and less than 10% positive test results.
Regions not meeting or maintaining the above requirements will stay or return to Phase 1. Each region will be updated on the Department of Health (DOH) Risk Assessment Dashboard every Friday. Depending of these results, DOH determine if a region remains where it is, moves forward to the next phase or returns to Phase 1. DOH and the local health departments will determine timing, phases based on COVID-19 changes, vaccine distribution and other public health response.
Phase 1, this round, will allow indoor fitness with restrictions of 1 person per 500 square feet–masks and physical distancing required and ticketed outdoor entertainment, including zoos, outdoor theaters, concert venues, and rodeos with group maximum of 10 and a limit of two households. Indoor gatherings anda dining remain prohibited. Outdoor dining is permitted with a maximum of six and a two-household limit. The establishment must close at 11 p.m. Retail, worship services, individual and professional services is limited to 25% capacity–if remote is not available.
In Phase 2, conditions are somewhat relaxed, but masks and physical distancing is still required. Indoor dining is permitted at 25% capacity and closes at 11 p.m. All other indoor activities are allowed at 25% capacity including indoor fitness, retail, entertainment and groceries, personal and professional services. Moderate risk indoor sports and all outdoor sports may have league games and competitions. Outdoor hosted groups of up to 15 with a two-household limit and 75 people maximum. Wedding, funeral and indoor receptions are allowed within the venue restrictions.