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July 24, 2020

Governor Inslee Announces changes to the Safe Start-- Reopening Washington Plan 

Skagit County remains in Phase 2 of the Safe Start-- Reopening Washington plan. Skagit County currently meets one of the five metrics required to move forward to Phase 3. As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, Skagit has 111.5 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days. The target for that metric is 25 cases. The full risk assessment dashboard, which includes all the metrics the Governor uses to evaluate the pandemic, can be found here

There is no getting around it, these case numbers are bad. Really bad. And unfortunately, Skagit County's situation is not unique in Washington State. In response to rising case counts throughout the State, Governor Inslee announced several changes to the Safe Start plan yesterday (July 23) including:

  • Effective July 30, restaurants must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m., close down vending game areas (pool tables, darts, video games, etc…) and limit indoor dining to 5 or less members of the same household until Phase 4.
  • Effective July 30, indoor fitness services in Phase 2 are limited to only 5 individuals (not including staff). These individuals can participate in group fitness classes or exercise on their own. During Phase 3, maximum indoor capacity of fitness centers is limited to 25 percent.
  • Effective August 6, secular and religious weddings and funerals are limited to services only (indoor and outdoor receptions are prohibited). Maximum indoor capacity is limited to 20 percent or 30 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Indoor family entertainment/recreational centers (mini golf, bowling alleys, arcades etc…) and indoor card rooms are prohibited from opening and are closed until Phase 4.

Secretary Wiesman also announced an expansion of the statewide masking order to include any shared spaces including condominium hallways, hotels, dorms, and adult family homes. Basically, anytime you’re not completely by yourself or at home with members of your own household, you need to wear a mask. This order is effective starting Saturday, July 25.

In order for the situation to improve- it is vital that everyone take these restrictions, the masking rules and the previously issued guidance seriously. We do not want to end up in a runaway situation where our hospitals are overwhelmed and we don’t have space in our morgues like has happened elsewhere in the country.

Further information on the changes can be found here: https://medium.com/wagovernor/inslee-announces-rollbacks-to-some-activities-to-slow-covid-19-exposure-19003e510127

If you have questions, call our Public Health Department at 360-416-1500.