Grant County was approved to move to Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan on Saturday.

This past week, the Grant County Board of Commissioners announced that they had applied for the variance on Friday and were granted permission to move to Phase 2 the following day.

On Thursday May 21, the Washington Department of Health announced that Grant County was among three additional counties to be eligible to apply for variance to move to Phase 2. Friday, the Grant County Board of commissioners held a meeting and voted to apply for variance which was granted by the governor the very next day.

The vote to apply for variance was supported by Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. Dr. Brzezny urged the citizens of Grant County to continue to wear face coverings in places where social distancing is difficult. According to a news release on May 23, “It’s a simple act of kindness and a responsibility we all should take seriously. All the sacrifices during the COVID-19 emergency has taken a toll on all of us, in order to stay in Phase 2 it will take all of us doing our part to protect each other.”

Dr. Brzezny said that he does not expect the Sheriff’s Department to lock people up for not wearing masks.

During the Commissioner’s meeting, Theresa Adkinson, the Grant County Health District administrator, spoke about how fast the district has been able to get in contact with COVID-19 positive cases. The GCHD has been able to get in touch with all but two positive patients within 24 hours, and those two cases were contacted by the 48 hour mark, Adkinson said.

Commissioner Tom Taylor said that having personal protection equipment for medical workers is crucial to Phase 2, and Dr. Brzezny added that PPE is limited in Grant County and is being preserved for health workers.

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