Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Feb. 24, 2021

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Clark County approved for Phase 2 of Inslee’s reopening plan

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday afternoon that on Monday, Clark County will move to Phase 2 of Washington’s COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery.

The entire Southwest region, which also includes Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties, will move to Phase 2.

The region met three of the state’s four targets to move to Phase 2. The region has a 71 percent intensive care unit occupancy, well below the state’s goal of 90 percent. And the county has seen a two-week decrease in its rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population along with a decreasing trend in its two-week rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population.

Southwest Washington did not meet the state’s goal of a positive COVID-19 test rate of less than 10 percent. The region has a test rate of 14 percent, according to the state Department of Health.

The county has had fewer than 50 cases on average each day this week, after averaging 100 cases per day for most of the winter.

Despite the positive trend in cases, Clark County Public Health did announce today that two recent Clark County cases were B.1.1.7 coronavirus variants, the variant first discovered in the United Kingdom. That variant is much more contagious than the original novel coronavirus, and is expected to become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the U.S. within the next few months.

Phase 2

In Phase 2, restaurants can open to indoor dining with up to 25 percent of indoor capacity. Indoor gatherings are also allowed, with a maximum of five people from outside a household per gathering and no more than two households coming together. Outdoor gatherings can have 15 people present from outside the household with no more than two households coming together.

Indoor weddings and funerals are permitted, and must follow venue requirements. Dancing is still prohibited. Low and moderate risk sports are allowed to take place inside again and fitness centers can operate at 25 percent capacity. Low, moderate and high-risk sports are all allowed outdoors with a 200-person limit, including spectators.

Indoor entertainment establishments such as movie theaters, concert halls, card rooms and museums can now operate at 25 percent capacity. If food and drinks are served, eating and drinking requirements apply.

Outdoor entertainment venues such as zoos, rodeos and concert venues can host groups of 15 and up to 200 people at once, while limiting groups to no more than two households.

The state has grouped counties into regions to gauge COVID-19 activity for reopening, rather than county by county.
The state has grouped counties into regions to gauge COVID-19 activity for reopening, rather than county by county. Photo
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