The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

Columbia County approved for Phase 3


DAYTON—Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman and Governor Jay Inslee have approved Columbia County to move forward to Phase 3.

Individual Phase 3 business sectors can reopen only after the state publishes its guidelines for the specific sector. Individual business is only allowed to reopen after it can implement those guidelines.

Dr. Wiesman retains the right to revoke the approval and Governor Inslee retains the right to reimpose restrictions under his authority.

Phase 3 went into effect on June 5, but can be revoked by Dr. Wiesman if there is a significant community transmission of COVID-19, and in the event there is little or no access to testing, inadequate capacity in the hospital to handle a surge, inadequate Personal Protection Equipment supplies, inadequate case and contact investigations, inadequate performance on a daily contact for cases in isolation, or contacts in quarantine, inadequate isolation, or quarantine facilities, or other conditions warranting significant concern.

• In Phase 3 gatherings with up to 50 people are allowed.

• Nonessential travel can be resumed

• Restaurants/taverns can operate at less than 75 percent capacity and can seat groups of no more than ten people at a table.

• Bar areas in restaurants/taverns can seat people at a 25 percent capacity or less

• Movie theaters at less than 50 percent of capacity

• Customer facing government services may resume (telework strongly encouraged)

• Libraries

• Museums

• All other business activities not yet listed may resume, except for nightclubs

People in high-risk populations are strongly encouraged to limit participation in Phase 3 activities and services.

The Centers for Disease Control consider this population to be:

• People 65 years of age, and older

• People with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled) including:

• People with chronic lung disease, or moderate or severe asthma.

• People who are immunocompromised

• People with severe obesity

• People with diabetes

• People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and people with liver disease

• People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility


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