On March 22nd, Skagit County—and the rest of the state—moved to Phase 3 of the “Roadmap to Recovery” reopening plan. Counties now move through the phases alone, no longer tied to other counties in their region. What this means is that while Skagit has more freedom to move through the phases, we are also solely responsible for our progress. So how do we keep moving forward and not backwards?
What is Allowed Under Phase 3
Restrictions are looser under Phase 3 than they were under the previous phases. This is exciting news, especially as the weather gets nicer and summer slowly approaches.
That said, it remains more important than ever to continue practicing precautions: mask up, keep your distance, and wash your hands frequently. While restrictions around gathering have relaxed, it is best to continue to limit gatherings as much as possible. This—as well as the precautions above—are our best defenses against the spread of COVID-19.
Below are some of the most notable allowances under Phase 3:
Social and at-home gatherings
- Indoor social and at-home gatherings have increased to 10 people from outside your household.
- Outdoor social and at-home gatherings have increased to a maximum of 50 people.
Services (such as dining, retail, worship)
- Indoor services now allowed at 50% capacity.
Sports and Fitness
- Indoor sports competitions and tournaments allowed at all risk levels. Fitness/training and indoor sports at a maximum of 50% capacity.
- Outdoor sports competitions and tournaments allowed at all risk levels. A maximum of 400 spectators allowed with capacity restrictions (depending on the facility).
Entertainment (such as museums, theaters, concert halls)
- Indoor maximum of 50% capacity or 400 people (whichever is less).
- Outdoor entertainment allowed by walk-up ticketing, and a maximum of 400 spectators with capacity restrictions (depending on the facility).
What Metrics Need to be Met to Stay in Phase 3
Forward or backward progress will now be evaluated on a county-by-county basis, rather than by regional grouping. Counties will be evaluated by WA Department of Health (WA DOH) every three weeks to determine progress. Skagit County’s ability to move forward will be determined based on both of the metrics below:
- Case Rates: Skagit County must maintain at a case rate lower than 200 per 100,000 in the past 14 days to stay in Phase 3.
(As of March 21, we are at 132.4 new cases per 100,000)
- Hospitalizations: Skagit County must maintain a 7-day average of five or fewer new COVID-19 hospitalizations to stay in Phase 3.
Also, if at any point the statewide Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity reaches greater than 90%, all counties will move down one phase.
As you can see, it wouldn’t take much for Skagit to move backwards. We need to continue limiting our gatherings and wear our masks, even with the lighter restrictions of Phase 3.
It is also critical to continue vaccinating our high-risk populations, as this will greatly impact our hospitalization numbers. Let’s do everything that we can to keep our high-risk populations safe and protected against COVID-19! If you know of someone who is currently eligible for the vaccine, please reach out! Call the Vaccine Hotline to schedule an appointment: (360) 416-1500.
What Comes Next?
We don’t yet know what the next phase will look like for the Roadmap to Recovery. More guidance will come from WA DOH in the coming weeks. In the meantime, let’s all do our part to ensure continued forward motion! Though the road has been long, we have so much to look forward to. Let’s show the state what we are capable of, Skagit!
To read more about the Roadmap to Recovery Plan and to find out guidance specific to businesses and workers, go to: http://bit.ly/3lH6bbI.