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Inslee announces new roadmap to reopening

With statewide restrictions on indoor gatherings set to expire Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new phased plan for Washington to reopen businesses.

The plan, called “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” goes into effect Jan. 11.

Instead of reopening on a county-by-county basis, the state has been divided into eight regions, and each will move forward or backward together. Kitsap County has been grouped into the “Northwest” region along with Mason, Jefferson and Clallam counties.

“What we announce today will to be resulting in big significant reopenings today, but it is a plan so we can do that tomorrow when these conditions exist to allow us to move forward,” Inslee said at Tuesday’s news conference.

Now there are only two phases and every region will begin in Phase 1. More phases will be added as disease activity decreases.

Regions will be eligible to move to Phase 2 as early as Jan. 11. Each Friday, including Jan. 8, the state Department of Health will analyze four key metrics and move regions accordingly.

In Phase 1, appointment-based fitness and training with one customer per room or per 500 square feet will be allowed. Outdoor entertainment, such as zoos, theaters and concert venues, can reopen for ticketed events with groups of no more than 10 people and two households.

In Phase 2, indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues can reopen at 25 percent capacity. Low and moderate risk indoor sports and all outdoor sports can have league competitions. Indoor social gatherings will be allowed — five people from no more than two households.

To move forward, a region will have to meet the following criteria:

• Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents (decrease greater than 10 percent)

• Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100,000 residents (decrease greater than 10 percent)

• ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90 percent.

• COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than 10 percent.

In Phase 2, regions will have to meet at least three of these metrics:

• Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

• Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100,000.

• ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90 percent.

• COVID-19 test positivity rate of 10 percent.

Regions that do not meet the criteria of remaining in Phase 2 will be moved back to Phase 1 on the Monday following each Friday’s data analysis.

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