Counties looking to move to the next phase will have to wait after Governor Inslee’s office issued a press release on July 2 pausing all phase progression.
On June 27, Inslee and Secretary John Wiesman announced the Washington State Department of Health issued a pause of counties moving from Phase 3 to Phase 4 due to rising COVID-19 cases across the state and concerns about continued spread. Phase 4, which would loosen restrictions even further, has become impossible at this time, according to the release.
“The progress we’ve made thus far is at risk, therefore we are making the prudent choice to slow down our phased approach to reopening,” Wiesman said.
Eight counties were eligible to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 before the pause.
“We all want to get back to doing all the things we love in Washington during the summer, and fully open our economy, but we aren’t there yet. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to make decisions based on the data,” Inslee said.
On July 2, Inslee and Weisman announced a pause on all county applications to move to their next phase. Counties will remain in their current phase for at least the next two weeks and any applications that the department has under review will be paused until at least July 16 according to the release.
Currently, a total of five counties are in a modified version of Phase 1, 17 counties are in Phase 2 and 17 counties are in Phase 3.
From June 12 to June 26, there were a total of 266 new cases in Grant County, according to the GCDH website.