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Walla Walla County's Phase 2 application now under review by State

Review process to be complete in three to five days


WALLA WALLA—On Tuesday, May 26, Walla Walla County Unified Command (Walla Walla County Emergency Management and Walla Walla County Department of Community Health) announced that the variance request the County submitted on Thursday, May 21 to move the County to Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan is now under review by the State of Washington Department of Health.

At the time the County submitted the application, it did not meet the disease activity criteria, thus the Department of Health (DOH) held the application. Over the weekend, the DCH updated information related to the County variance application and resubmitted it to the DOH. Secretary of Health, John Wiseman contacted the county on Tuesday to confirm that Walla Walla County does now meet eligibility criteria and the application is under review. The review process takes between three to five businesses days.

In last week’s variance request, local leaders from the county and cities of Walla Walla and College Place submitted letters urging the move to Phase 2, as did the Department of Community Health (DCH) and Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Mayor Marty Dunn also submitted a letter on behalf of the City of Waitsburg.

When Walla Walla County moves to Phase 2, multiple business sectors will be allowed to open at certain levels of occupancy under the requirements established by the State of Washington. Requirements are aimed at minimizing spread of COVID-19 to staff, customers, clients, and visitors. Per Washington’s Safe Start plan, businesses are not authorized to open until they meet all safety criteria. Criteria for Phase 2 operations can be found on the Safe Start website located at:


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