Roadmap to Recovery: Some regions move to Phase 2

— Created February 3, 2021 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

The state’s latest effort to speed an economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19 has received another update since Healthy Washington’s Roadmap to Recovery was implemented Jan. 6.

At a press conference last week, Gov. Jay Inslee announced two regions – the West and Puget Sound regions – would move to Phase 2 as of Monday. Inslee also announced other changes based on information from public health partners and the increasing number of vaccinations being given.

“We are getting closer to finding our way out of this mess, but we aren’t there yet,” Inslee said. “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.”

Under the revised guidelines, regions will now have to meet just three out of four metrics to move to Phase 2, as opposed to having to meet all four. Those metrics include a decreasing trend in cases, hospital admissions, positive test rates and the percentage of ICU occupancy. Regions must continue to meet three of the four metrics to remain in Phase 2.

“The fact that these two regions are moving into Phase 2 is encouraging news,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, secretary of health. “As we continue our community efforts, we hope more such progress will be made. Ultimately our goal remains ensuring the health and safety of all of Washington.”

The governor also announced a change to the timeframe of each phase. All regions will now be evaluated every two weeks rather than every week.

Island County, along with San Juan, Whatcom and Skagit Counties, make up the North region. As of Monday evening, the North region was meeting just two of the four metrics.