Covid spikes in some WA counties could mean return to Phase 2
All counties in Washington state are in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. But based on rising numbers of Covid cases, some counties might have to return to Phase 2. That would mean more restrictions on retail, indoor dining, and social gatherings.
Many counties are at risk of falling back to Phase 2. Some are at the threshold while some are above it for case rates and hospitalizations. But health officials won’t say which counties are in trouble.
Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary for covid response, is tracking Covid cases for the state department of health. She said everyone’s behavior and actions matter.
“The chains of transmission go on," Fehrenbach said. "If you avoid infecting one or five people today, that makes a huge difference in the immediate term and in the long term.”
The department will evaluate how the state's doing on Monday; whatever is decided will take effect on Friday. To remain in Phase 3 under the state’s reopening plan, the number of new cases for every 100,000 people in the last two weeks needs to be less than 200.
Meanwhile, the state says it continues to make progress in its vaccination rate. To date, the state has given nearly 4 million doses of the Covid vaccine. On average it has vaccinated 60,000 people every single day.
The state will start to offer evening hours at its mass vaccination sites for people who can't leave work during the day.
Health Secretary Umair Shah says they're making that change based on feedback from members of the Latinx community in Yakima.
"I’ve directed the team at our mass vaccination sites also to assure that we are having evening hours that are beyond the 6 p.m. hour at least a couple of nights a week,” said Shah.
The new evening hours could be offered as early as next week.