Inslee announces new COVID-19 reopening plan for Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has announced a regional economic reopening plan, with some COVID-19 restrictions on entertainment and individual fitness training being eased next week, but prohibitions on indoor dining at restaurants and indoor gyms remains.

The new guidelines, which will go into effect Monday, will require regions to meet four metrics in order to move to the next phase, at which point restaurants and indoor fitness centers can open indoor dining at 25% capacity, sports competitions can resume with limited spectators, and wedding and funeral ceremonies can increase their number of guests.

Each Friday, the state Department of health will be looking at the regional case rates, hospital admission rates, ICU occupancy rates and test positivity rates. In order for a region to advance, they have to show: a 10% decreasing trend in case rates over a two-week period; a 10% decrease in COVID hospital admission rates in that same timeframe; an ICU occupancy rate that’s less than 90%; and a test positivity rate of less than 10%.

While in the first phase, some outdoor entertainment — limited to 10 ticketed guests — is allowed and appointment-based fitness training with one client per 500 square feet is also allowed, as are things like outdoor tennis instructions, gymnastics, and no-contact martial arts, as long as it is limited to five athletes.

Inslee said more phases will be added as virus activity diminishes, and he noted the focus on the regional approach instead of the previous county-based plan.

Under the new guidelines, bowling centers, indoor museums, and aquariums can have limited attendance of private parties of no more than six people. Outdoor zoos, gardens and aquariums, as well as outdoor theaters or concert venues are limited to groups of 10. (AP)

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