Inslee announces pause in rollbacks in reopening plan

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee said none of the state’s regions will revert back to more restrictive COVID-19 requirements under the state’s economic reopening plan under a pause in potential rollbacks the Democratic governor announced Thursday amid dropping case counts.

While all 39 counties are currently in the second phase of the plan — which includes limited indoor dining at restaurants — the governor has yet to provide information about what subsequent phases might look like.

“We’ve made incredible progress in knocking down the infection rate in COVID over the last several weeks,” Inslee said at a news conference announcing the pause.

A spokesman said that none of the eight regions were at risk of moving backward this week if the pause wasn’t implemented.

Last month, Inslee announced that regions had to meet three of four metrics in order to advance: a 10 percent decreasing trend in case rates over a two-week period; a 10 percent decrease in coronavirus hospital admission rates in that same time frame; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90 percent; and a test positivity rate of less than 10 percent.

Regional metrics

The most updated information from the Department of Health shows that half of the regions were meeting all four metrics, with the other half meeting three out of four.

In the second phase, restaurants can offer indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, and indoor fitness center can open with the same limit.

Sports competitions can resume with limited spectators, and wedding and funeral ceremonies can increase their number of guests.

The U.S. has recorded more than 28.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 506,000 deaths.

There have been more than 318,000 cases in Washington state, and 4,912 deaths.

For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown.

But for some, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

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