Lewis County and the West Region Set to Remain in Phase 2 of State Reopening Plan

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Lewis County’s West region appears safe to stay in Phase 2 as the state prepares to announce Friday whether any regions will be demoted back to more firm restrictions on businesses and gatherings. A closer look at the West Region, however, shows that of all four counties, Lewis County’s lagging metrics may pose the biggest risk to the region’s future reopening.

West Region’s Promising Metrics

In order to remain in Phase 2, each region must meet three out of four reopening metrics: decreasing case rate, decreasing hospital rate, ICU capacity below 90% and test positivity below 10%.

While the West Region’s case rates are decreasing far more than the required 10%, it’s still falling behind all seven other regions. With every other region seeing a decline in cases at 30 to 40 percent, the West Region is seeing a decline of 28%. When it comes to hospitalizations, however, the West Region represents the second-fastest decline in the state at 31%, behind North Central’s staggering 60% decline.

ICU capacity for the West Region, 82%, falls just above the state average, while test positivity sits right at the state average of 7%.

It’s a good sign for local businesses and organizations that have been enjoying more relaxed restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

County by County

A more detailed look at the West Region — including Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties — also reveals that Lewis County may be dragging the region’s overall metrics down. Of the four counties, Lewis County has the highest case rate per 100,000 at 290.6, the highest percentage of tests coming back positive at 11% and the highest hospitalization rate at 15.1 per 100,000. It was also recently reported that Lewis County’s vaccination rate is severely dragging behind the rest of the state.

In terms of its testing rate, Lewis County is second to last in the region, at 177.2 tests per 100,000 residents. Thurston County boasts 237.5, Grays Harbor is at 261.2, and Pacific is at 150.5.

Weekly data reports from Lewis County Public Health and Social Services provide more optimism, showing a decline in weekly cases, which skyrocketed in November and peaked in December. After months of triple-digit caseloads, the county finally dipped below 100 cases per week in its last report.

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