11-28-2022  4:38 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Empty streets and sidewalks at Pike Place Market in Seattle as photographed in March 2020. (Photo/Susan Fried)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 22 March 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state advances to Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan on Monday.

All of the state’s 39 counties will be allowed to relax coronavirus restrictions.

Under Phase 3, all indoor spaces — including indoor dining at restaurants, indoor fitness centers, and retail — can increase capacity from 25% to 50%. Larger events like concerts and graduation ceremonies will also be OK since up to 400 people will be allowed to gather for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distancing and masking are enforced.

In order to stay in Phase 3, counties just need to meet two metrics, and the metrics are different for counties that have fewer than 50,000 people.

Larger counties must have less than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period and have fewer than five new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people over a one-week period.

For 17 smaller counties — Klickitat, Asotin, Pacific, Adams, San Juan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Lincoln, Ferry, Wahkiakum, Columbia, Kittitas, Stevens, Douglas, Okanogan, Jefferson, and Garfield — they have to have fewer than 30 cases over a two-week period and fewer than 3 new COVID hospitalizations over a one-week period.

Counties will be evaluated every three weeks, starting on April 12. If any county fails one or more of the metrics, they will move down one phase. If statewide ICU capacity tops 90%, all counties will move back to the most restrictive first phase, which includes a prohibition on indoor restaurant dining.

For more information on what is open in Washington state, visit the COVID page on Washington state's website.

In Multnomah County, Oregon:

Multnomah County is currently in the Moderate Risk level. At bars, restaurants, breweries, and wineries indoor dining allowed, with a capacity not to exceed 50% or 100 people, whichever is smaller. Indoor seating is allowed with a maximum of six people per table. Outdoor dining allowed with a capacity of 150 people maximum, and a maximum of 8 people per table.

For more information on risk level and openings by county in Oregon, visit the COVID page on Oregon's website.


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