Inslee announces expanded county variance criteria and Working WA Small Business Grants

Story Body

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced new criteria for additional counties to apply for variances to move to Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan.

Under the plan, smaller counties can apply for a variance from the order which would allow them to open even more businesses than allowed statewide. Counties are now eligible to apply if they have less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span.

Under the new criteria, 10 additional counties will be eligible to apply for a variance. They are:

  • Adams
  • Clark
  • Clallam
  • Island
  • Kitsap
  • Lewis
  • Mason
  • Thurston
  • San Juan
  • Spokane

The new criteria are similar to the guidance released by the CDC for reopening regions nationwide. Increasing the counties eligible for variance will allow for increased economic activity around the state while also prioritizing the health and safety of workers and customers to limit the spread of COVID-19.

As of Monday, 10 counties have already been approved to move into Phase 2. Twenty-two counties in the state are eligible in total. Combined, these counties represent 30% of the state.

Read the full story on the governor's Medium page.

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