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All Washington Counties Now Back In Phase 3

Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

All Washington counties are now officially back in Phase 3 of the state’s coronavirus reopening protocol.

The state Department of Health today [Tuesday] officially elevated four counties from Phase 2. They included Ferry and Whitman counties in eastern Washington, Cowlitz and Pierce in western Washington.

Phase 3 means retail stores, restaurants, bars and churches can open up to 50% capacity. Outdoor gathering sizes can max out at 50, with indoor gatherings up to 10 people from outside your household.

Health Secretary Umair Shah says the state is still hoping for a full-reopening by June 30 if 70% or more of residents 16 and older begin the process of receiving Covid vaccination. Shah says the state is now at 59%.

In Spokane County, the health district says a little less than 48% of residents 16 and older have had at least their first shot. About 39% are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, county health authorities reported another 115 Covid cases on Tuesday, in addition to five new deaths from the virus last week. Hospitalization cases related to Covid have fallen by about 10 over the last week or so to 68.

Officials in the Odessa School District in Lincoln County say students in the sixth-through-12th grades will begin remote learning tomorrow [Wednesday]. They say they’re taking that action because of positive Covid case at the high school. They expect to bring students back to school next Tuesday.

That doesn’t affect younger students, in kindergarten-through-fifth grade. They will continue in school.

Junior high and high school sports will be cancelled until Tuesday.