Pierce County approved for Phase 2 of reopening plan

ierce County advanced to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's Safe Start county reopening plan Friday after its application was approved by the state Department of Health.

Phase 2 allows, with certain restrictions, for restaurants to open indoor dining at 50 percent capacity, in-store retail at 30 percent capacity and the re-opening of salons, barbers and other personal grooming services.

Pierce County joined Snohomish, Clark, Okanogan, Skagit and Whatcom counties in entering Phase 2 last week after their applications were approved by the state Department of Health. They join 20 other counties already in Phase 2. Chelan, Douglas, Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties were the only ones still in Phase 1 as of Friday, while King County entered a modified Phase 1.5. Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Wahkiakum were approved to advance to Phase 3.

According to the governor's Safe Start plan, which was released May 31, counties must stay in a new phase of reopening for at least three weeks before advancing to the next phase. Counties must meet a number of criteria based on different factors, including COVID-19 disease activity, before advancing. It is possible for counties to move to a previous phase at any time if they do not meet health and safety targets.

“We’ve spent this week handing out a million masks to our local businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship for just this day,” County Council Chairman Doug Richardson said in a press release. “It’s great to know that they will have the PPE they need in time to safely re-open.”

More information about what is allowed under Phase 2, go to governor.wa.gov.


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