Inslee says five Washington counties to move into next phase of re-opening

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says five counties in central and eastern Washington still under the tightest COVID-19 restrictions will be allowed to resume more activity and open more services.

At a news conference Tuesday, the governor said Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Douglas and Chelan counties will be moved from modified Phase 1 into Phase 2. Inslee has instituted a virus reopening plan under which counties move through four phases — with 1 the most restrictive and 4 being a full reopening. The five latest counties join 17 other counties that are already in Phase 2. Seventeen counties are in the third phase.

Officials say there has been a “leveling out” of coronavirus risk between the five counties and the rest of the state since a pause in the reopening plan took effect in July.

Under Phase 2, counties are allowed to resume some adult and youth sports as well as outdoor recreation with more than 12 people. Also, more business activity will be OK’d, like movie theaters at limited capacity, restaurants with limited seating and indoor fitness centers with reduced numbers of people allowed. (AP)

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