Spokane County’s commissioners today formally asked Health Officer Bob Lutz to initiate the process to move the county to level three of the state’s reopening plan.
In the letter signed by all three commissioners, the trio say they believe the "clear majority" of hospitals and businesses are ready to move to phase three. They say those companies are following the strict sanitary and spacing guidelines needed to keep their customers safe.
The letter comes on a day when the health district reported 18 new Covid cases. It also reported 18 new cases on Tuesday.
During a media briefing on Monday, Health Officer Bob Lutz said he’s not ready to recommend yet that Spokane move to phase three. He cited the rapid growth in the number of cases.
He has said recently that Spokane is in good shape in terms of having enough hospital beds to handle an outbreak, but says the trend is inching in the wrong direction. Lutz said 12 Spokane County residents are now in the hospital with the coronavirus, the first time that number is been in double digits in a few weeks.
“Over the past week or so we have been seeing little signals to suggest community spread is occurring and those signals are staying continued or increasing a little bit. So I can’t give you absolute numbers, but the fact that we are seeing community spread is concerning for me," he said.
Lutz says just as he’s skeptical about Spokane moving up to level three soon, he doubts that it would move back to level one even if there’s a sudden increase in cases.