Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the rollback of three counties not meeting the Phase 3 Healthy Washington metrics for reopening activities.
The three counties returning to Phase 2 are:
- Cowlitz County
- Pierce County
- Whitman County
“These metric trends are driven by the virus and we must continue to do everything we can to sharpen our focus and keep COVID-19 activity down. We are so close to the end of the tunnel here — we have made tremendous progress and we must keep our focus,” Inslee said. “It’s like a football game; we have done 95 yards on a 99 yard-drive. We can’t let up now. These are not punitive actions; they are to save lives and protect public health.”
Last Friday, the governor announced updates to the Healthy Washington criteria:
- In order to move down one phase, a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back a phase.
- The spectator events guidance is updated to make clear what is allowed for counties in Phase 2 and how these events are related to school graduation ceremonies. That guidance is available here.
- The Open Air Seating guidance is updated to allow flexibility for eating and drinking establishments. That guidance is available here.
- The next evaluation of counties will be in three weeks, on May 3.
On Thursday, April 15, all Washingtonians (16+) will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Combined with sustained mask usage, physical distancing and adhering to reopening guidance, increasing vaccination rates in all counties will hopefully help in preventing a rise in COVID-19 case numbers.
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.