In the wake of Governor Inslee's press conference Tuesday, here's a simplified, understandable breakdown of this 'new' re-opening plan. As much as we could do so.

The state is broken down in to 8 regions. We (Benton-Franklin) are in the South Central, along with Yakima, Klickitat (Ellensburg), Walla Walla, and Columbia Counties.

All regions are starting in Phase 1, which is pretty much where we are now. The only difference is starting January 11, indoor fitness centers will be allowed to book clients by appointment, and only 1 per room, or 1 per every 500 square feet in the facility.

Also, starting January 11, outdoor entertainment venues, such as zoos, outdoor theaters and concert venues, and rodeos, among other outdoor venues will be allowed to re-open. However, groups cannot exceed ten persons at a time in these venues.

There will be four criteria each region must achieve before moving to Phase 2. They are:

  • COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%.---

Positivity rate means the percentage of people who get tested, and then come up positive.

How is Phase 2 different than where we are now?

  • Indoor dining will return, 25% capacity--ending 11PM
  • wedding, funeral and other indoor receptions permitted, but no dancing
  • gyms can re open at 25% capacity
  • high risk sports allowed to return outdoors, which would include football, soccer
  • the outdoor entertainment venues described earlier, can go up to 15 persons per group, no more than 200 in facility at a time.

Interestingly, there's no mention of what happens after Phase 2.  We will continue to monitor and report what we see happening.