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COVID-19

News >  Washington

7 Eastern Washington counties move to Phase 3 of reopening

UPDATED: Sat., June 6, 2020

Medical Laboratory Scientist Brandi Fry dons PPE gear before testing a patient for COVID-19 at a drive up testing facility on Monday, April 13, at Newport Health Center in Newport, the seat of Pend Oreille County, which moved along with 6 other counties in Eastern Washington to Phase 3 of reopening. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Medical Laboratory Scientist Brandi Fry dons PPE gear before testing a patient for COVID-19 at a drive up testing facility on Monday, April 13, at Newport Health Center in Newport, the seat of Pend Oreille County, which moved along with 6 other counties in Eastern Washington to Phase 3 of reopening. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A slate of Eastern Washington counties – Whitman, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Columbia and Stevens – were approved to move to Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start reopening plan, Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman decided Friday.

Wahkiakum County also moved to Phase 3 on Friday.

The new phase will mean restaurants can expand seating to 75% capacity with table sizes no larger than 10, according to a Department of Health news release. Bars will be allowed to operate at less than 25% capacity and theaters at less than 50% capacity. All other business activities except for nightclubs and events with more than 50 people can resume under this phase.

Phase 4 will see the reopening of nightclubs, concert venues, large sporting events and will allow for unrestricted staffing at all places of work. Officials will continue to urge intensified hygiene practices during Phase 4.

Friday also marked several counties, including Clark, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom, gaining approval to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

TheWashington State Department of Health and Inslee introduced their approach to reopening Washington and modifying social and recreational activities May 29. Using this approach, each county must show they have adequate local hospital bed capacity as well as adequate personal-protective supplies to keep health care workers safe, the release says.

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