Island County likely to stay in Phase 3

Other counties, such as King and Snohomish, may be moving back to Phase 2.

Island County will remain in the least restrictive phase of the state’s latest reopening plan.

State statistics show that 10 counties, including King and Snohomish, are in danger of being downgraded to Phase 2 of the reopening plan when officials look at the numbers May 4. Pierce and Cowlitz counties were moved to Phase 2 on April 16 and will likely stay there.

The rest of the counties, including Island County, will probably stay at Phase 3, which allows restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, fitness centers and other indoor business activities to operate at 50 percent capacity.

In an email to Island County commissioners, COVID Response Manager Don Mason indicated that the county is safe in Phase 3 under the state’s reopening metrics.

“Based on this information we expect to remain in Phase 3 for the next three-week period, and we are seeing less growth over time for these metrics,” he wrote.

The first metric measures COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, which must be below 200 to remain in Phase 3. For the dates April 11-24, Island County had a rate of 89 cases per 100,000 people.

Another metric looks at hospitalization, with the target for Phase 3 being five per 100,000 population. From April 15-21, Island County had one hospitalization per 100,000 people.

The next metric is the statewide intensive care occupancy, which was well below the 90 percent target.

Counties must meet at least one of the county-based metric thresholds in a given phase in order to remain in that phase. Counties that no longer meet both metrics will move back one phase, according to the state. The phases are reassessed every three weeks.

The state dashboard shows that 26,147 residents in the county have been fully vaccinated, or about 31 percent. That’s slightly ahead of the statewide average.

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