Based on the metrics announced by governor Jay Inslee this week, it appears several counties in north central Washington are poised to revert to phase 2 soon.
Gov. Jay Inslee will announce Monday whether some counties in Washington state will have to roll back to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan because of rising cases.
At a news conference Thursday Inslee said “we’ve let our guard down to some degree.”
All of Washington’s 39 counties are currently in Phase 3 of Inslee’s reopening plan, meaning all indoor spaces — including indoor dining at restaurants, indoor fitness centers, and retail — have been able to increase capacity from 25% to 50%. Larger events like concerts and graduation ceremonies are OK since up to 400 people will be allowed to gather for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced.
To stay in Phase 3, counties must meet two metrics, and the metrics are different for counties that have fewer than 50,000 people.
Larger counties must have less than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period and have fewer than five new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people over a one-week period.
For 17 smaller counties — Klickitat, Asotin, Pacific, Adams, San Juan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Lincoln, Ferry, Wahkiakum, Columbia, Kittitas, Stevens, Douglas, Okanogan, Jefferson, and Garfield — they have to have fewer than 30 cases over a two-week period and fewer than 3 new COVID hospitalizations over a one-week period.
According to the most recent intel, Kittitas County’s health department is projecting that it will be mandated to return to Phase 2 because it has had 126 new COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period and has had three hospitalizations over the last seven days.
In Adams County, there’s only one current hospitalization and there’s a case rate of 178.7 per 100,000 people over the last two weeks.
In Grant County, the latest thermograph shows 183 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period which is 17 shy of the threshold that would prompt a return to phase 2.
Douglas County has had 108 new cases in the last 14 days, but only two current hospitalizations.
Chelan County has seen 164 new cases over a 14-day period, but has 5 current hospitalizations.
In Okanogan County, 121.7 new cases have been recorded over the course of two weeks.
All of the previous data is based on information published in early April.