21 counties approved for Phase 2 reopening

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. — Seven additional counties have been approved to move to Phase 2 of the governor's plan to reopen the economy, the state announced Saturday.

Cowlitz, Grant, Island, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific and San Juan counties join 14 other counties in reopening retail, hair and nail salons, restaurants and more under the Safe Start plan.

The 21 counties are: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Orielle, San Juan, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum and Whitman.

Clallam, Kitsap and Thurston are eligible to apply for Phase 2.

Kittitas and Clark counties' applications are on hold while public health officials investigate outbreaks.

To apply for a variance, counties must have an average of less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. The application process requires support from the local health officer, the local board of health, local hospitals, and the county commission/council.

Each county must demonstrate they have adequate local hospital bed capacity as well as adequate PPE supplies to keep health care workers safe. The application must include plans for:

    The variance requests are reviewed by the secretary of health, who can approve the plans as submitted, approve with modifications or deny the application. If circumstances change within the jurisdiction, the variance can be revoked.

    The rest of the state is still under Phase 1, which allows day use activities at most state parks and some outdoor recreation like hunting, golfing and fishing to resume.

    Businesses allowed to reopen under Phase 1 include:

    -Existing construction that meets agreed upon criteria
    – Landscaping
    – Auto/RV/boat/ORV sales
    – Retail (curb-side pick-up orders only)
    – Car washes
    – Pet walkers

    Read the state's "Safe Start" plan here.