October 25, 2021

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Spokane will not move into Phase 2 reopening after criteria eases

Under Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s revised reopening plan, regions will be required to meet three health metrics to progress instead of all four.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The East region, including Spokane County, is not yet eligible to move into Phase 2 of reopening after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a revised Roadmap to Recovery plan on Thursday. 

Inslee said during a press conference that the criteria for regions in Washington to move from Phase 1 to 2 of reopening is becoming less stringent, allowing for the Puget Sound and West Regions to move into Phase 2 on Monday, Feb. 1. The counties in these regions represent about half of the state’s population, Inslee said.

Phase changes will remain in effect until Monday, Feb. 15, Inslee’s office said. The Washington State Department of Health will also calculate regions’ metrics to determine phase status every two weeks from this point forward. 

Under the revised plan, regions will be required to meet three of four health metrics to progress, instead of all four. The changes follow conversations with public health leaders and the state’s increasing vaccination rates.

To move on to Phase 2, a region must meet the following four targets:

  • 10% decreasing trend in case rates over 14 days
  • 10% decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates over 14 days
  • ICU occupancy that’s less than 90% over 7 days
  • Test positivity rate that’s less than 10% over 7 days

Tap here to watch the press conference on YouTube

Inslee announced the state’s “Healthy Washington” plan earlier in January as a road map to reopen businesses and loosen restrictions. The state was grouped into eight regions, all of which started in Phase 1 of reopening on Jan. 11. Under Inslee’s initial plan, there were only two phases and the state planned to add more once the situation improved.

In Phase 1, indoor social gatherings are prohibited. Indoor worship services, retail stores, and professional and personal services are limited to 25% capacity. Indoor dining remains prohibited unless restaurants meet “open air” requirements and outdoor dining is limited to six people per table or two households per table.

RELATED: Indoor dining resumes in Washington: What you should know in Spokane

In Phase 2, a maximum of five people from outside of a person’s household can gather indoors and indoor dining is available at 25% capacity until 11 p.m., among other changes. Indoor fitness centers can also open at 25% capacity.

The Washington State Department of Health’s latest report released on Jan. 22 showed that the East region had the third highest positivity rate in the state at 21 percent. However, the region saw a 20% decrease in its hospital admissions rate and ICU occupancy in the region is at 82 percent. Case rates in the region were up 12 percent.

RELATED: All of Washington will remain in Phase 1 of reopening until at least Feb. 1

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