Submitted by Clark County
Clark County and the rest of the Southwest Region will move to Phase 2 of the state’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan. The move is effective Monday, February 15.
The Southwest Region – Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Klickitat and Wahkiakum counties – is one of seven regions moving to Phase 2. The South Central region – Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla and Yakima counties – is the only region that will remain in Phase 1.
The state will ease some COVID-19 restrictions throughout the Southwest Region next week, including rules on social gatherings, indoor dining and other activities. Everyone will still need to wear face coverings and physically distance in shared spaces.
In Phase 2, indoor social gatherings are limited to five people from up to two households, and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 15 people from up to two households. Indoor dining can resume at food establishments at no more than 25% capacity. Indoor fitness and recreation facilities and activities, such as gyms and indoor pools, are permitted with a maximum of 25% capacity.
Indoor entertainment, including theaters and bowling alleys, can reopen and operate at a maximum occupancy of 25% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. Indoor ceremonies and gatherings associated with weddings and funerals can resume, and outdoor sports, fitness and entertainment can operate with a maximum of 200 people.
Businesses and industries must follow the guidance for reopening outlined on the governor’s website.
The Southwest Region will remain in Phase 2 until at least Monday, March 1. To remain in Phase 2, the region must continue to meet at least three of four metrics set by the Washington State Department of Health. Regions that do not meet the metrics will be moved back to Phase 1. The state will update the metrics next on Friday, Feb. 26.
“The move to Phase 2 demonstrates that our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 are working,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Wahkiakum and Klickitat counties. “We must continue to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and avoid social gatherings to ensure we remain in Phase 2.”
To remain in Phase 2, the region must meet at least three of these metrics:
• Decreasing or flat trend in 14-day rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people
• Decreasing or flat trend in 14-day rate new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people
• Average 7-day ICU staffed bed occupancy less than 90%
• 7-day percent of positive COVID-19 tests less than 10%