After the state Department of Health indicated Wednesday that King and Pierce counties could soon be facing a move back to Phase 2 of reopening, Gov. Jay Inslee reiterated those concerns Thursday.
In order to remain in Phase 3, large counties need to have 200 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks and five or fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over the past week. Counties with a population under 50,000 need to have 100 or fewer total new cases over two weeks and three or fewer hospitalizations over the past week.
As of Wednesday, King County is reporting 182.6 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days, and 4.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 over the last seven days. In Pierce County, the two-week case rate per 100,000 was at nearly 195 between March 18 and April 1, with a six-day reporting delay.
State doesn’t think April 15 vaccine date will create unmanageable backup
Cases and hospitalizations in both counties — as well as several others — are also continuing to rise at a “significant” rate.
Speaking during a Thursday press conference, Inslee blamed a pair of factors: The spread of more infectious variant strains of COVID-19, and lax behavior at large gatherings.
“We’re concerned that we’ve all let down our guard to some degree — more folks aren’t wearing masks and aren’t social distancing,” he said. “We hope people will be careful.”
As to whether any counties will be rolled back to Phase 2, Inslee affirmed that “whatever happens, this will be

Original Article