Gov. Inslee loosens COVID-19 restrictions for most counties in Washington

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that five of the eight regions in his reopening plan will advance to the second phase of reopening on Sunday.

 

 

The  East, North, North Central, Northwest and Southwest regions will advance to the second phase. The West and Puget Sound regions will remain in the second phase. This means that all but six of the 39 counties in Washington will be in this phase. 

Benton, Franklin, Columbia, Kittitas, Walla Walla and Yakima Counties will all remain in the first phase. All six of these counties are included in the South Central region.

Regions in the second phase can bring back indoor service in restaurants at 25% capacity until 11 pm and reopen fitness centers and venues such as bowling alleys, museums and concert halls, also limited to 25% capacity. 

Weddings and funeral services in these regions will also be able to increase their number of guests.

In order to open regions had to reach three of four metrics: a 10% decreasing trend in overall cases over a two-week period, a 10% decrease in COVID-19 hospital admissions in the same time period, an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90% and a positivity rate of less than 10%.

The Department of Health (DOH) evaluates these numbers and decides whether a region will roll into the second phase or potentially roll back into the first phase.

The South Central region only met two of the four metrics. They saw an increase in positive cases and new hospital admission. Currently, in this region there are 56,254 confirmed cases, with the majority of the cases in Benton, Franklin and Yakima Counties.

 

Courtesy of WA DOH COVID19 Data Dashboard

 

According to DOH, the number of confirmed cases currently statewide is 309,673 as of Thursday and there are 18,531 current hospitalizations. There have been 4,633 deaths from the virus, the majority of which occurred in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Clark, Yakima and Spokane Counties.

As of today, the state has administered 987,682 vaccine doses.