Seven counties in the Puget Sound and West regions can move to Phase 2 of the “Healthy Washington” plan. Counties only need to meet three of four metrics to qualify.
SEATTLE — The criteria for regions in Washington state to move from Phase 1 to 2 of the COVID-19 reopening plan is becoming less stringent, allowing for two regions to move to Phase 2 on Monday, Feb. 1.
The counties in the West and Puget Sound regions will move to Phase 2 on Monday. That includes Snohomish, King and Pierce counties in Puget Sound and Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston and Lewis counties in the West region.
These counties represent about half of the state’s population, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.
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.
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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.
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 is prohibited, unless restaurants meet “open air” requirements, and outdoor dining is limited to six people per table or two households per table.
To move on to Phase 2, the region must meet the following three of four targets:
- 10% decreasing trend in case rates
- 10% decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates
- ICU occupancy that’s less than 90%
- Test positivity rate that’s less than 10%