Grays Harbor applies for Phase 2 variance

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners moved to submit their variance application for how to move into Phase 2 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” plan on Tuesday.

The Grays Harbor County Board of Health and County Commission both unanimously approved resolutions to move forward and apply for a Phase 2 Variance after Grays Harbor County Health Officer, Dr. John Bausher, recommended the move.

 Commissioner Vickie Raines said “We MUST move to Phase 2 as quickly and safely as possible. We must use common sense and move our County forward — NOW. We are ALL essential!”

The Grays Harbor Public Health Incident Management Team also presented their COVID-19 Emergency Operations Plan to the Board of Health on Tuesday, providing a framework and procedural guidance for the County’s COVID-19 response and emergency management efforts. 

“Our Emergency Operations Plan is scalable, so that we can continue to effectively respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation,” said Leonard Johnson, Incident Commander.

The move to apply for the variance was delayed a day as officials contacted the state to confirm recent positive COVID-19 cases did not impact their ability to apply. 

In an announcement on Tuesday, Governor Inslee and the state Department of Health announced new criteria that allowed counties to apply if they have less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span. 

That change made an additional 10 counties eligible: Adams; Clallam; Clark; Island; Kitsap; Lewis; Mason; San Juan; Spokane; Thurston.