Starting next Monday, Feb. 1, Snohomish County will be moving into Phase 2 of the state’s Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery plan, with more options for indoor dining, theaters, and indoor sports and fitness.
Gov. Jay Insless announced Monday that the recovery plan he unveiled Jan. 6 will be changed in two ways: First, the evaluation criteria for the state’s eight regions to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, and the timeframe in which regions can progress.
“We are getting closer to finding our way out of this mess, but we aren’t there yet,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “We have sacrificed too much to let our frustrations get the best of us now when the finish line is in sight, however distant that may seem in our field of vision.”
The changes come after further conversations with public health partners and the state’s increasing vaccination rates.
In accordance with the roadmap, several regions will be eligible to enter Phase 2 beginning Monday. The progression is contingent on whether their metrics continue their positive trends.
Regions moving to Phase 2 effective Monday are:
- Puget Sound (Snohomish, King, Pierce)
- West (Grays Harbor, Pacific, Thurston, Lewis)
Under the new plan, regions will only be required to meet three of the four public health metrics to progress to Phase 2. The original roadmap required regions to meet all four
The four metrics remain the same. They are:
- Trend in case rate: Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100K population;
- Trend in hospital admissions rate: Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100K population;
- Percent ICU occupancy: Average seven-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds; and
- Percent positivity: Seven-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests.
The metrics provide an overview of current COVID-19 trends and health care system readiness in each region, ensuring that health care systems will efficiently and equitably respond to potential future outbreaks.
The requirement to maintain three metrics to remain in Phase 2 remains unchanged. If any region fails to meet any two metrics, they will still regress to Phase 1.
The governor also announced that the Department of Health’s timeline for region’s evaluation will change. Beginning next week, regions metrics will be evaluated every two weeks instead of every week.