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Pierce County does not expect to have to roll back to Phase 1

A drive-thru vaccination clinic in Pierce County. (Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health, Facebook)

Numbers just released make it appear as if Pierce County will not have to roll back to Phase 1 this week.

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The health department says the county hospitalization rate is not exceeding the requirement to stay in Phase 2. The COVID-19 case rate is still climbing, however, and is now averaging 170 cases a day higher than needed for a return to Phase 3, which allows the highest level of activity.

The 14-day case rate for Pierce County per 100,000 residents is at 369.8 while the hospitalization rate is currently at 5.2 per 100,000.

In order to remain in Phase 3, large counties (of which Pierce County is one) need to have 200 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks and 5 or fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over the past week.

Under those rules, neighboring King County will likely be moved back to Phase 2 this week, currently sitting at 245.5 cases and 6.1 hospitalizations per 100,000.

King County councilmember: Phase 2 rollbacks are ‘old-line thinking’

Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman counties previously rolled back to Phase 2 on April 12 after all counties in Washington were moved to Phase 3 on March 22.

The state is evaluating data in every county on Monday, May 3, to determine where rollbacks might be necessary. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce the results of that evaluation on Tuesday.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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