Gov. Inslee announces statewide move to Phase 3 and Phase 1B, Tier 2 vaccine eligibility
- Olympia, WA
Gov. Jay Inslee today announced that Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery will be transitioning from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process. The governor also announced a new third phase of the Roadmap and a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports.
Effective March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3.
“Because of the progress we’ve made by decreasing our case rates and hospitalizations, as well as our tremendous efforts to get more people vaccinated, our reopening plan is once again based on counties, not regions,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday. “We are excited to take this step and we will keep evaluating our progress, and the impacts of these changes, to determine how and when we reopen further.”
Additionally, the governor announced that starting Wednesday, March 17, everyone in Phase 1B, Tier 2 will be eligible for their COVID vaccine. This includes workers in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters and law enforcement, among others. Phase 1B, Tier 2 also includes people over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high-risk.
Under the updated plan, counties will be individually evaluated every three weeks. The evaluations will occur on Mondays with any possible changes taking effect Friday, with the first evaluation scheduled for April 12.
In addition to being individually evaluated, large and small counties will have different sets of criteria. If any county fails one or more of the metrics below, that county will move down one Phase in the Heathy Washington plan.
For large counties to remain in Phase 3, defined as counties with more than 50,000 residents, they must keep a 14-day average of new COVID cases at or below 200 per 10