Clark, Cowlitz counties move into second phase of ‘Healthy Washington’ reopening


Seven of eight regions designated in the state’s “Healthy Washington” reopening plan will be in the second phase of the plan’s easing of restrictions starting Monday, including the one containing both Clark and Cowlitz counties, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday.

During a press conference Feb. 11, the governor announced five additional regions would be moving into Phase 2 of the “Healthy Washington” plan. That included the Southwest Region, which alongside Clark and Cowlitz, also contains Wahkiakum, Skamania and Klickitat counties.

With the new restrictions, a number of activities and business operations will be allowed, though restricted. Following the governor’s announcement, Clark County Public Health provided a list of the allowances, which included:

Indoor dining at 25-percent capacity, alcohol service ending at 11 p.m., and outdoor or open-air dining available with a maximum of six per table and no more than two households per table

Fitness, training, and indoor sports at 25-percent capacity; low and moderate risk sports competitions permitted, though no tournaments; and high-risk sports are permitted for practice and training only.

Indoor entertainment including theaters, museums, and bowling alleys at 25-percent capacity or 200 people, whichever is less

Wedding and funeral ceremonies, indoor receptions, wakes and other gatherings in conjunction with weddings and funerals are permitted.

The change to phases will be in effect beginning Monday, Feb. 15. At the press conference the governor said that although currently that date holds, he entertained potentially looking into easing some of the restrictions earlier given Valentine’s Day on Sunday.

The Southwest Region was able to move forward as it met three of four criteria over the past two weeks as set in the state’s Healthy Washington plan, which are based on COVID-19 activity in the respective regions. The Southwest Region had more than a 10-percent decrease in the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of population in the past 14 days, a 10-percent decrease in the number of hospital admissions per 100,000 populations in the past 14 days, and it kept the average seven-day percentage of intensive care unit bed occupancy below 90 percent, according to data presented at the press conference. The region did not meet the seven-day percentage of positive COVID-19 tests being below 10 percent.

The Southwest Region and four others join the Western and Puget Sound regions in Phase 2, which were the first to make the move Feb. 1. The only region not currently in the second “Healthy Washington” phase is the South Central region, which includes Kittitas, Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Columbia counties.

— This story will be updated


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