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All eight regions of Washington now in Phase 2

All eight regions are now in Phase 2, effective Feb. 14. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee/Twitter)

All eight regions in Washington state are now able to move to Phase 2 after a reporting error was discovered at one of the hospitals in the South Central region that had previously kept it from moving forward.

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It was brought to the state’s attention that a hospital in Walla Walla, which is part of the South Central region, was incorrectly reporting hospital admission data. The Washington State Department of Health began working with the facility to correct the reporting mistake. Using the updated information, the region’s hospital admission rate was recalculated and the region now meets the required metric criteria.

The Roadmap to Recovery dashboard will be updated with this information Tuesday.

“On Friday, Feb. 12, Providence St. Mary Medical Center discovered an error in its reporting of COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the hospital, and immediately provided corrected data to the Washington Department of Health,” said Susan Blackburn, Chief Executive at the facility. “The error was unintentional, and we acted as quickly as possible to provide corrected data to the state.”

The South Central region is now able to advance to Phase 2, effective Feb. 14.

“When errors like this happen, our DOH team is committed to getting things corrected as quickly as possible. We are pleased that partners in the South Central region brought this issue to our attention and we were able to resolve the matter quickly,” said Dr. Umair Shah, state secretary of health.

On Feb. 12, Governor Inslee announced that the state would have five additional regions move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of reopening, bringing the total number regions in Phase 2 to seven. The only region left off the list at the time was South Central, comprised of Kittitas, Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Columbia counties.

As of Sunday, the entire state of Washington is in Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan.

Every two weeks, the state DOH will reassess the metrics for each region and announce any phase adjustments. The next announcement will be Thursday, Feb. 25. The Healthy Washington plan only has two phases at this time, with no outline yet for Phase 3.

To move into or remain in Phase 2, regions must meet three of the four following metrics:

  • Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population
  • Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population
  • Average 7-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds
  • 7-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests

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