OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday said all of the state’s counties will remain in their current phase of the state’s economic reopening plan and won’t face more restrictions because new COVID cases are levelling off after a recent spike.
The Democrat said there will be a two-week pause as the state continues to evaluate coronavirus activity in the state.
The surprise announcement came as several more counties were expected to roll back to Phase 2 of the plan, which includes reduced capacity for indoor dining and gyms, based on case counts and hospitalizations. But Inslee said that the most recent weekend data from the Department of Health shows coronavirus activity reaching a plateau in the state.
Inslee’s move is at odds with neighboring Oregon, where Gov. Kate Brown last week imposed more severe restrictions due to a new coronavirus wave. Washington and Oregon were among the first states to implement sweeping restrictions in the early days of the pandemic
Currently in Washington, just four of the state’s 39 counties are in the more restrictive Phase 2: Cowlitz, Pierce and Whitman, which were rolled back from Phase 3 last month, and Ferry County, where health officials on Friday voluntarily moved back due to a recent outbreak.