• Jacque Coe

We’re up next: Governor lays out 4-phase plan to reopen

Gov. Jay Inslee has extended Washington state’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order to May 31. The order was originally set to expire at the end of the day May 4.

Inslee outlined his four-phase approach to a broader reopening of Washington’s economy once he believes, and data shows, it is safe to do so.

Inslee allowed residential construction to resume last week, and on Monday announced that on May 5 golf, fishing and hunting would resume. Many state parks and public lands would also reopen.

Friday  he presented a four-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy – though no dates were provided for when Washington would move out of Phase 1, where it is now.

Restaurants and bars can begin reopening in Phases 2 and 3, according to the governor’s outline.

  • In Phase 2, restaurants will be able to open at 50 percent business capacity with up to five guests per party and gatherings of five people and fewer will be permitted.

  • In Phase 3, gatherings of 50 people or fewer will be permitted, nonessential travel can resume, restaurants can be open at 75 percent capacity with parties of 10 or fewer and bars can be open at 25 percent capacity.

  • In Phase 4, night clubs, concert venues and sporting events can resume.

Inslee said data will determine movement of one phase to another. The governor said he intends to use a range of medical statistics from a dashboard to monitor the spread, or suppression rate, of the virus.

Ten counties will have the option to request moving to Phase 2 earlier than the rest of the state. Inslee said he is mindful of regional differences and Columbia, Garfield, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Grays Harbor, Wahkiakum, Kittitas and Ferry counties may be in a position to lift restrictions earlier.

To request this, the county’s local health department will evaluate if it wants to move to Phase 2. Then, the county commissioners must approve. Reopening safety plans must be submitted to the Washington State Department of Health for review and approval, he said.

Inslee said the state will work with each industry to provide all safety and health guidelines for reopening. As soon as complete guidance and requirements for restaurants and bars is available, the Seattle Restaurant Alliance will provide you details.

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