(Sunday, Feb 14th) We recently announced that five more regions, 25 more counties, were moving to Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start guidance. (See that post.) Today Governor Inslee announced that the one remaining region, the South Central Region, is now cleared to move into Phase 2. Immediately!
That means Yakima, Kittitas, Benton, Franklin, Columbia and Walla Walla counties can now move forward to Phase 2, which allows for indoor seating at 25 percent capacity. Of course, there are more requirements and guidelines, but by now the impacted businesses are probably very familiar with what Phase 2 means. (We explain it here.)
Shortly after the governor tweeted about the change, Burwood Brewing in Walla Walla announced it was opening. The tweet came out at 12:40, Burwood opened at 2:00. In other words, this is welcome news and a lot of people are very happy.
Last week when the big announcement came regarding the five regions and 25 counties, why was the South Central Region left out? The problem involved a hospital in Walla Walla that misreported its COVID numbers.
Basically, the state’s Safe Start guidance is based on how well we are containing and combating the virus. Less positive tests, less hospitalizations the more things loosen up.