Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman has approved Pacific County to move into Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.
A total of three counties are in Phase 1, three counties are in a modified version of Phase 1, 22 counties are in Phase 2 and 11 counties are in Phase 3.
Grays Harbor and Lewis counties applied to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3, and King County applied to move from modified Phase 1 to Phase 2.
Their applications are under review. Benton and Franklin counties applied to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, and their applications are currently on pause. The department will meet with local officials later this week to discuss next steps.
Businesses approved to move into a new phase must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the guidance to reopen.
To apply to move to the next phase, counties must submit an application to the Washington State Department of Health. The application process requires support from the local health officer, the local board of health and the county executive or county commission.
Each county must demonstrate they have adequate local hospital bed capacity as well as adequate PPE supplies to keep health care workers safe. The metric goals for moving between phases are intended to be applied as targets, not hardline measures. Where one target is not fully achieved, actions taken with a different target may offset a county’s overall risk. Some of the metrics the secretary of health will evaluate in addition to other information provided by counties include:
Requests to move into the next phase are reviewed by the secretary of health, who can approve the plan as submitted, approve with modifications or deny the application. If circumstances change within the jurisdiction, the secretary of health can modify the current phase or move the county back into an earlier phase. A county can also identify when they need to return to an earlier phase or eliminate approved activities.
Learn more about reopening and the statewide response to COVID-19 at coronavirus.wa.gov.
Individuals can also find COVID-19 information on the Department of Health’s website or call 1-800-525-0127. Individuals can text the word “coronavirus” to 211-211 to receive information and updates on their phone wherever they are.