Kittitas County applies for phase three

Bailey Tomlinson, News Editor

On June 18, Kittitas County submitted an application to enter phase three of Gov. Jay Inslee’s phased reopening plan. Phase three would lessen restrictions to allow nonessential travel, more businesses to reopen and increased numbers allowed in gatherings.

The decision to accept or reject the application is made by Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman. There is no expected response window.

To be able to move to phase three, the Kittitas County Public Health Department and the county’s Incident Management Team must ensure the county is meeting state required metrics and receive approval from the Kittitas County Board of Health and the Board of County Commissioners. This morning, both boards voted in approval of the application.

The state’s required metrics include number of new COVID-19 cases, number of individuals tested per new case, percent of individuals testing during the past week, percent of licensed beds occupied by patients and percent of licensed beds occupied by COVID-19 cases.

The application must also have a letter from Kittitas Valley Healthcare with a section that explains the county’s COVID-19 activity, testing capacity, resources for case investigation, isolation and quarantine capacity, and lessons learned from phase two.