Fri, 14 May 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Friday updated the criteria for counties to stay in Phase 3 of the state's Healthy Washington pandemic reopening plan.

Under the plan that took effect on March 22, counties are individually evaluated every three weeks. The first evaluation occurs this coming Monday, and changes to a county's phase status take effect on April 16. In addition to being individually evaluated, large and small counties have different sets of appropriate criteria based on case counts and hospitalizations, the announcement said.

To move down one phase a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations. Under the previous plan, a county only needed to fail one metric to move back one phase, according to the announcement.

"Given the incredible progress on vaccinations and our focus protecting people from severe illness, we believe analyzing and requiring both metrics together is the right approach to make sure we're considering the connection between COVID cases and our medical system and hospitalizations," Inslee said.

Inslee also warned that case counts and hospitalizations are rising in the state and the trend is also happening nationally.

"About 60,000 doses are being administered daily in the state, but we still have to be mindful of our distance, wear our masks, and keep our gatherings small until COVID activity becomes less of a threat," the announcement said.

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