All regions in State are now in Phase 2 of reopening plan

Delay to South Central region was due to misreporting by an area hospital


February 18, 2021

OLYMPIA—The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced that a hospital in the South-Central Region of the Healthy Washington Plan misreported data, which led to a determination that the region remain in Phase 1 of Governor Jay Inslee’s Roadmap to Recovery phased reopening plan. When the region was the only one not move to Phase 2, it was brought to the attention of DOH that a hospital in the region appeared to be incorrectly reporting its hospital admission data.

After learning that the hospital, Providence St. Mary Medical Center, in Walla Walla, was reporting COVID-19 hospital admission data incorrectly, the Department of Health began working with the facility to correct the hospital’s reporting mistake.

After receiving the facility’s updated information, the South Central region’s hospital admission metric was re-calculated and DOH concluded the region did meet the required criteria and advanced to Phase 2 effective February 14.

“On Friday, Feb. 12, Providence St. Mary Medical Center discovered an error in its reporting of COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the hospital, and immediately provided corrected data to the Washington Department of Health. The error was unintentional, and we acted as quickly as possible to provide corrected data to the state. We hope this corrected information will be helpful in assessing whether our communities are ready to move to Phase 2 of the Governor’s reopening plan, and we appreciate our partnership with the state that has allowed us to correct this error,” said Susan Blackburn, Chief Executive at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

“When errors like this happen, our DOH team is committed to getting things corrected as quickly as possible. We are pleased that partners in the South Central region brought this issue to our attention and we were able to resolve the matter quickly,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health.

Earlier in the week, DOH determined that five regions could move to Phase 2 adding to the two regions that had already advanced. This brought the total to seven with only the South Central region still in Phase 1. The South Central Region includes Yakima, Kittitas, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla and Columbia counties.

Regions are required to meet criteria for three of the four metrics outlined in the Roadmap to Recovery plan in order to move into or remain in Phase 2. The four metrics include:

•Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100k population

•Trend in 14-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100k population

•Average 7-day percent occupancy of ICU staffed beds

•7-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests

DOH reassesses the metrics for all eight regions every two weeks and will announce any phase adjustments on Thursdays. The next announcement will be Thursday, February 25, 2021 for implementation and possible phase movement on March 1, 2021. Regions that fail to meet the metric criteria will be moved back to Phase 1.


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