Snohomish County won’t be ready for Phase 2 reopening June 1, officials say

Snohomish County is not yet ready to move to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. June 1 was a possible target date for that, but Snohomish County leaders admitted in a Friday briefing that we are not there.

Phase 2 of the Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start” program would reopen most businesses, including restaurants and taverns, hair and nail salons, retail in-store sales, in home/domestic services, pet grooming and some non-essential travel. It also would permit outdoor activities in “small groups.”

At the Friday Snohomish County press briefing on COVID-19, both County Executive Dave Somers and County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters said the county is close, but has more to do before officials can apply for a reopening waiver or variance. Spitters said there is still hope that the county could apply “sometime in June.”

There has been significant progress in flattening the infection curve and the number of new cases reported each day is now down to the high teens, both men said, but Spitters told the briefing “we are still not there yet.”

Five things must happen to get to Phase 2:


  • The level of coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities must average not more than two a week.
    • County officials say they are making progress.
  • Hospitals must have capacity to handle a 20% surge in new cases; continue daily reports to the state and have a 14-day supply of all PPE (personal protection gear).
    • “We’re in good shape here,” said Spitters.
  • Positive test numbers must continue to decline.
    • The county will add 1,000-1,500 tests a week to the 2,500 currently being given to meet that goal.
  • New cases must be reported within 24 hours and contact with those who also might have been exposed must happen within 48 hours.
    • The county has 30 full-time contact tracers, but needs to add 90 more. New federal money will help add staff.
  • The number of new cases must drop to an average of six per day.
    • Latest numbers show an average of 22 new cases per day.

Spitters was reassured. “I do think we’re not far off but it will still take effort by community to suppress the transmission” of the virus to get into Phase 2, he concluded.

There is good news for the county’s small business and the aerospace sector. With new federal money now available from the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, the county has just launched two grant programs.

One is for small business only and applicants can receive up to $25,000. The second is for aerospace companies or Paine Field businesses, who can receive as much as $1 million.

Somers says it’s easy to fill out the application online “in a few minutes.” Here’s a link to both programs:

— By Bob Throndsen


















  1. We need to open up NOW. Inslee wants this lockdown to go on as long as he can get away with it. Inslee and his cronies still get their pay checks while so many do not. He does not care about all the people without jobs, loss of businesses , our well being, etc. He needs to stop playing politics and do what is right for the greater good which is OPEN UP. Remember, taxpayers pay his salary so he needs to be held accountable.

    1. Human life is more important than your selfish greed maybe someone you know that’s close to you will god forgive die from this horrible virus grow up you just think everything will be like it was the day before the lockdown and all will just walk back on the job. you should think twice

      1. Bravo!!! Life IS more important! I went into one of the major stores and found employs had masks on… however not one shopper except myself wore any face protection even though there was signs at the entrances to wear a mask!!!! I am have a platelet disorder that if I get this virus I most certainly are at a high risk for death! Take care of Americans people and think smart… wear face protection!

      1. Sandy, You are welcome. Glad you understand what is going on. In time more and more people will wake up and realize that so much of what we were told was simply not true.

    2. to Linda Stromeyer’s post May 23 12:00 pm. Obviously our governor doesn’t Know there are many people dying who need attention to other diseases both physical and mental. And considering his support nationally, I suggest that his “science”is based on fairy tails! I suspect he doesn’t know what to do. I do. Let us do what we know to be right. There are a lot of adults out here

  2. Because of the way our state constitution works a governor can issue an emergency order the day they swear in and renew until they leave office. Many states have a 30 day legislative review/approval, we do not. State congress could change this but since both branches are controlled by the democrats it certainly won’t happen this year.

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