Entire State Remains in Phase 1 of Reopening Plan But Lewis and Thurston Counties' Region Makes Progress

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All of Washington state will remain in Phase 1 of Gov. Jay Insee's statewide reopening plan until at least Jan. 25.

The Washington State Department of Health announced the news Friday. Inslee's Healthy Washington plan, which began Jan. 8, broke the state into eight regions that must each meet four criteria to individually progress through the plan. None of the region's met the metrics.

The four metrics in the plan measure COVID-19 trends and healthcare system readiness in each region, according to a news release. They include the following goals:

* The case rate per 100,000 people over two weeks must decline by 10% compared to the previous two weeks.

* The COVID-19 hospital admission rate per 100,000 people over two weeks must decline by 10% compared to the previous two weeks.

* The total intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate must be below 90%.

* The test positivity rate must be below 10%.

Thurston County and Lewis County are part of a greater West region that includes Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. Data released Friday indicates the West region is meeting 3 of 4 metrics after meeting just 1 of 4 on Jan. 8.

Specifically, the West region saw a 30% decrease in its case rate per 100,000 people when compared to the two-week period starting Dec. 6. The region also had an ICU occupancy rate of 82% between Jan. 3 and 9, and a test positivity rate of 8% between Dec. 20 and 26.

The only metric the west region failed to meet was the targeted 10% decrease in its hospital admission rate per 100,000 people. This rate only decreased by 7 percent when comparing the two-week period starting Dec. 13 with the two week period starting Dec. 27.

Phase 1 entirely prohibits indoor dining, as well as indoor social and at-home gatherings. However, outdoor gatherings are permitted so long as they include no more than 10 people from two households.

Low-risk sports are permitted in stable groups of no more than 5 athletes under Phase 1, along with appointment-based fitness training in 45-minute sessions with no more than one athlete per room or 500 square foot area. Low- and moderate-risk sports are also permitted for training but not tournaments.

Additionally, private rentals and tours are permitted only for individual households of no more than six people, and outdoor attractions such as zoos must have timed entry and are limited to groups of 10 with two households per group.

The region will be eligible to move to the slightly more lenient Phase 2 on Jan. 25 if it meets all four metrics by next Friday, Jan. 22.

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