Two regions to move to Phase 2; Inslee announces change to reopening criteria

Jan 28, 2021, 2:36 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2021, 7:01 am
Inslee, regions...
Gov. Jay Inslee on Jan. 28, 2021. (TVW)

Governor Jay Inslee announced two main changes to the metrics that regions must meet in order to move forward in the Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan.

First, the evaluation criteria for regions to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is changing such that regions will only be required to meet three of the four public health metrics in order to progress forward. The original roadmap required regions to meet all four.

“We are getting closer to finding our way out of this mess, but we aren’t there yet,” Gov. Inslee said. “We have sacrificed too much to let our frustrations get the best of us now when the finish line is in sight, however distant that may seem in our field of vision.”

As part of the Healthy Washington plan, the state had been divided into eight regions based on health system resources over a geographic area, two of which will move to Phase 2 on Monday under the updated criteria. However, that progression is contingent on whether the metrics continue their positive trends. The two moving to Phase 2 on Monday are the Puget Sound region (Snohomish, King, Pierce counties) and the West region (Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, Lewis).

The four metrics remain the same: Regions have to show a 10% decreasing trend in case rates; a 10% decrease in COVID hospital admission rates; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90%; and a test positivity rate of less than 10%.

Vaccine appointment process a confusing, long headache for Washingtonians

To remain in Phase 2, the region must maintain three metrics. If any region fails to meet any two metrics, they will regress to Phase 1.

In Phase 2, restaurants can open indoor dining up to 25% capacity, same for fitness centers indoors. Non-school based sports competitions may also resume in Phase 2 with limited spectators. Wedding and funeral ceremonies will be able to increase their capacities from current limits as well.

The second major change is that the Washington State Department of Health will now evaluate each regions’ metrics every two weeks instead of every week.

The Seattle mayor’s office released the following statement after Inslee’s announcement:

The Mayor supports Seattle businesses cautiously moving to Phase 2 and Seattle will not be imposing any additional restrictions at this time. However, both the high level of cases and the emergence of the new variants are cause for concern for our region. The Mayor will continue to watch these numbers closely with PHSKC.

The Mayor has also been working closely with our small businesses, and knows that predictability is important. The Mayor is concerned that unpredictability of these new variants could lead to the Puget Sound region going backwards in the upcoming weeks if residents and businesses do not continue to take public health precautions seriously.

Local News

Kathryn Altena

Washington to participate in Great ShakeOut earthquake drill for 10th year

At 10:21 a.m. on Oct. 21 will be the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill in Washington. Practice how you would drop, cover, and hold on.
16 hours ago
King County Metro...
Nick Bowman

King County reports 97% compliance with worker vaccine mandate

King County reported Tuesday that 97% of its employees have submitted paperwork in compliance with its vaccine mandate; 92% are fully vaccinated. 
16 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Heavy rain, wind from tropical ‘superstorm’ headed to Northwest

A cyclone that began as a tropical superstorm is expected to reach waters off the coast of Washington state on Thursday.
16 hours ago
City Hall Park Seattle...
Nick Bowman

King County Council to forge ahead on bid to acquire troubled City Hall Park

King County Councilmembers voted 7-2 on Tuesday to approve legislation to explore options to assume control over Seattle's City Hall Park.
16 hours ago
Bomb squad, Kitsap...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Bomb squad dismantles explosive device in Silverdale

The Washington State Patrol bomb squad has dismantled an explosive device found in a Silverdale parking lot.
16 hours ago
Nick Rolovich...
Nick Bowman

Former WSU football coach Nick Rolovich to file lawsuit after getting fired over vaccine mandate

Former WSU head football coach Nick Rolovich will be filing a lawsuit this week, after he was terminated for not complying with a state vaccine mandate.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Two regions to move to Phase 2; Inslee announces change to reopening criteria