SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday didn't move any counties forward or backward in his four-phase COVID-19 reopening plan, but he did say more activities would be allowed throughout the state.

At a news conference the Democratic governor said restaurants in second- or third-phase counties can now serve alcohol up to 11 p.m. and increase their table size to six in the second phase, and to eight in the third phase.

“We’re hopeful this is going to allow restaurant to boost business in a safe way,” Inslee said.

Also, for second-phase counties, movie theaters will be able to operate at 25% capacity, and in the third phase, at 50% capacity. Facial coverings and 6 feet of distance between households will be required. Both the Lee Theater in Ephrata and Fairchild Cinemas in Moses Lake have not yet decided if they will reopen under the new guidelines.

Wedding receptions would also be able to have 50 guests in phase 3 counties, up from the curren 30. And the governor's office will provide further guidance on relaxing rules for things like bicycle tours, biathlons, marathons and other competitions.

The governor's phased reopening plan allows counties to request permission from state health officials to advance to more reopened stages according to public-health metrics around the virus.

"We're doing this because we want to recognize the progress we've made, we want to celebrate it," Inslee said, "and we hope that this will show incentive for our increasing desire to do the things that work, which includes wearing masks."

Meanwhile a COVID-19 outbreak in the University of Washington's Greek community has increased to over 175 cases since last week.

University spokesman Victor Balta said on the school's website as of Tuesday morning there were 177 confirmed COVID-19 cases in students among 14 fraternities and sororities.

University officials have urged students to isolate if they have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms. Students who had close contact with infected peers have been encouraged to get tested.

Seattle and King County Public Health Department’s Dr. Jeff Duchin said the outbreak has shown the difficulty of returning to campus during the pandemic.

It is unclear if anyone has been hospitalized or has experienced severe symptoms.

Health officials have urged people for months to take precautions against the coronavirus, including wearing masks and social distancing. Officials have also warned people to continue to be vigilant as cooler weather will likely mean more time indoors, which could further facilitate the spread of the virus.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

(7) comments

Desert Dweller

The chinese flu virus is 0.13 microns in diameter, 90% of wood smoke particles are smaller than 1 micron.

Just curious, can you smell smoke with your mask on?

Leftist Simps

Are you in danger of getting covid if you smell a fart?

@the real JohnQPublic

Since I've never heeded these restrictions anyway, where they really loosened for me?

Desert Dweller

Hmmm, do you think the virus is listening to the governor?

It's a freaking virus. It is loose in the population. You should know what it takes to protect yourself by now.

This virus is approximately 0.13 microns in size, a mask will not keep it out, though if you are sick it might contain the "spew".

Pay attention to your hygiene and best o' luck.

Leftist Simps

Who makes up these stupid ass restrictions? What is the science involved? This clown needs to GO! What an embarrassment he is.

I'm betting more will be removed nearer the election


Suckers and Losers for Trump

Too much Fox propaganda rots the brain. You already know the answers to your own "questions." The real question is why you are whining them, and the answer is that empty-minded bootlickers always wonder why their mouths taste like dirt.

Leftist Simps

Obvious answers, Your ignorant lemming leader has picked them out of his magic colon. Speaking of licking, you should clean off the magic from around your mouth and chin.

I see you couldn't answer the question, as usual, so you do what leftist always do throw insults. Talk about empty-minded.

Must be tough living your life knowing your ideology is a breath away from being flushed from from the toilet into the sewer. At least you will be around familiar odors.

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