Inslee expected to loosen some Covid-19 restrictions

Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce changes to the state's Covid-19 reopening plan Thursday that could allow restaurants and other businesses to resume indoor service with limited capacity. 

The governor will discuss the changes at a 2:30 p.m. news conference. You can watch it live here

The state's current reopening plan, called Healthy Washington, breaks the state down into regions that must meet four metrics to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Those metrics include: 

  • Decreasing trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100K population
  • Decreasing trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100K population
  • Average 7-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds less than 90%
  • 7-day percent positivity of COVID-19 tests less than 10%

All eight regions are in Phase 1, and none of the regions has met the existing metrics to move into Phase 2. 

At Phase 2, restaurants and indoor fitness centers can open at 25 percent capacity, sports competitions can resume with limited spectators, and wedding and funeral ceremonies can increase their number of guests.

RELATED: Counties question regional reopening plan, Inslee doesn’t budge

Some counties have questioned the regional approach. Snohomish County's region, for example, is grouped with King and Pierce counties, but Snohomish County numbers are trending better than the other counties in its region. 

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said the county has asked the governor's office if it can break away from the region if the county meets the existing metrics on its own. Inslee said he is not open to the request. 

"There’s a reason we went to regions," Inslee said. "I’ve articulated those, that we want to be consistent with the medical delivery system, we wanted groups to work in concert so no, we’re not thinking about that."