Gov. Inslee unveiled a 'brand new' re-opening plan for Washington state Tuesday afternoon, it's called Healthy Washington. Some significant changes from the old Safe Start plans are listed below. It will go into effect January 11.

  • Healthy Washington will divide the state into 8 regions, instead of counties.
  • The four metrics being used will be ICU capacity, hospitalization rates, case data, and test positivity.
  • To advance a phase a region will have to show it's ICU rates are less than 90 percent, and have dropped 10 percent; ten percent drop in Case Data; and a ten percent drop in test positivity (presumably cases per 100K of population). These are over 14 day periods.
  • All Regions will start in Phase One, beginning January 11.
  • Once a region reaches Phase Two, indoor dining and indoor fitness will return at 25 percent capacity, and a few other changes.
  • Tri Cities area, we are in the Southwest Region, which includes Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Klickitat (Ellensburg) Yakima, and Columbia Counties.
  • The new Washington State Secretary of Health Umair Shah said if a region shows signs of slipping, it would be put back to Phase One.
  • Regions will not apply for moving up, it will be decided for them provided they meet metrics.
  • So far the plan has only TWO Phases.  No real word as to what would occur then.

Inslee and Shah heavily pushed masks, vaccination, testing and tracing. Inslee claims these factors and regions are based upon more sophistication learned from the last ten months. It's presumably more complicated and difficult to understand.  Inslee's others 'guests' said more metrics are going to be utilized.

The only changes starting January 11 will be very limited relaxing of some group activities (ten or less people) and a certain fitness exceptions. This limit for fitness might be one person appointment types, one person per 500 square feet, starting Monday January 11th.

He then spent a considerable amount of time discussing vaccine dispersion. He also said the statewide curve doesn't show an upward trend. He said it's because we've been so compliance by citizens.

His comments about the "pain" and suffering of business owners not being able to open showed he doesn't appear to grasp the true magnitude, because he seemed to believe the aid given so far has been helpful; when in reality it's touched only a handful of businesses.

To watch the press conference for yourself, click on the button below.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app