Phased reopening paused due to virus extended indefinitely

Clallam, Jefferson counties both in Phase 2

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of COVID-19 economic reopening will continue indefinitely.

It’s the second time the pause has been extended since first implemented earlier this month. The extension comes days after Inslee tightened restrictions throughout the state for indoor activities in a further effort to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Seventeen counties are in Phase 3 of a four-part reopening process, 17 counties — including both Clallam and Jefferson counties — are currently in Phase 2, and five counties are in a modified Phase 1 of reopening.

State officials confirmed 875 more cases Tuesday, bringing the total number of positive cases to more than 54,200. Thirty more deaths also were reported, raising the death toll to at least 1,548.

The virus causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, and the vast majority recover. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and death in some patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

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