WA Governor Announces New Covid Reopening Plan

Jan 5, 2021

Washington's new Healthy Washington Covid plan breaks the state into eight regions.
Credit Washington Governor's Office

Governor Jay Inslee announced today [Tuesday] Washington will take measures to begin easing its restrictions again on activities related to the coronavirus.

“It includes a small resumption of activities statewide. This includes live entertainment with very tight restrictions. We’re talking about ticketing groups of 10, as well as certain fitness programs," Inslee said.

He says there will be two phases to start with, as opposed to four earlier this year. He says instead of evaluating county-by-county, the state will split the state into eight regions. Those regions, including their health care systems, will be evaluated by four metrics.

“These are Covid-19 hospitalization rates, ICU capacity, case data and test positivity data. All four targets will need to be met for the regions to reopen. Based on the metrics this plan is built on, every region will start in phase 1 today, given their metrics at the moment," he said.

Inslee says regions won’t apply to the state to advance to the next phase, as counties did earlier in the year. If they meet all the metrics for two weeks, he says, they’ll automatically be advanced.

Lacy Fehrenbach, the state’s deputy secretary for Covid response, says one region currently qualifies, though neither she nor the governor mentioned which one. She says state health officials will review the metrics each Friday and the regions that qualified will be allowed to move ahead the next Monday. She says the first day regions will be eligible to advance will be January 11.