Cheney Free Press -

Spokane County gets OK to go to Phase 2


Last updated 5/22/2020 at 2:13pm

CAMP MURRAY -- Spokane County has received approval of its variance application to move to Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan from restrictions imposed to battle the spread of coronavirus.

Other counties eligible for the variance and receiving approval today are Adams, Grays Harbor and Lewis. A total of 14 counties have now been approved to move to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's Safe Start plan. In a news release, Secretary of Health John Wiesman noted that Kittitas County's application is on pause until Tuesday, May 26 due to an outbreak investigation.

Businesses approved to move into Phase 2 must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the guidance to reopen. Activities and businesses allowed under Phase 2 include:

• Recreation: Outdoor recreation involving 5 or fewer people outside your household (camping, beaches, etc.)

• Gatherings: Gather with no more than 5 people outside your household per week

• Travel: Essential travel and limited non-essential travel for Phase I & II permissible activities

• Businesses/employers:

• Remaining manufacturing

• Additional construction phases

• In-home/domestic services (nannies, housecleaning, etc.)

• Retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions)

• Real estate

• Professional services/office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged)

• Hair and nail salons/barbers

• Pet grooming

• Restaurants/taverns at less than 50 percent capacity and table size no larger than 5 (no bar-area seating)

People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit their participation in these Phase 2 activities and business services. High-risk populations are currently defined by the CDC as:

• Persons 65 years of age and older;

• People of all ages with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled), including:

• People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma,

• People who have serious heart conditions,

• People who are immunocompromised,

• People with severe obesity,

• People with diabetes,

• People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and

• People with liver disease; and

• People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

This variance could be revoked if circumstances change within Spokane County, such as a significant community transmission, no or minimal access to COVID-19 testing, inadequate surge capacity in the hospital system, inadequate PPE supplies, inadequate case and contact investigations, inadequate isolation or quarantine facilities or other conditions warranting significant concern. The governor also retains the right to re-impose restrictions upon any jurisdiction under his authority.


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