Today I am happy to share some exciting updates with you! After a few weeks of uncertainty, Governor Inslee recently announced that the entire state of Washington will be eligible to open up to phase 3 beginning on Monday, March 22. So, what does phase 3 include? It means that:
- Sports stadiums will be able to allow fans at 25% capacity
- Restaurants, businesses and gyms can open up to 50% capacity
- A maximum of 400 people can attend outdoor activities
While we don’t know what Phase 4 will look like and when that will be an option, this new phase will evaluate counties independently every three weeks. These assessments will occur on Mondays with any possible changes taking effect the following Friday. The first evaluation is scheduled for April 12. To learn more about how counties will be measured, click here.
A lot of work has gone into convincing the governor to make this move. I cosponsored SB 5114 way back in January. It would have immediately moved the entire state to Phase II. Senate Republicans continued the effort with the release of the Open Safe – Open Now plan for Phase 3 and 4 earlier this month.
Not only am I encouraged to see many similarities between the governor’s plan and ours, I am also glad to see that he implemented this new plan on a county basis rather than a regional basis. This is fully in alignment with the letter I sent last spring proposing we use counties as the benchmark for evaluating progress. Many legislators and county officials joined me in signing this letter and it is nice to see the governor has come to the same conclusion. You can find a copy of that letter at this link.
I do want to recognize, however, that it wasn’t just elected officials that made this happen. So many of you have been strong advocates for this action. I am thankful and appreciative of all our collective efforts. Lets keep progressing together!