Kittitas County in Phase 3

Nidia Torres

Nidia Torres, Reporter

On June 23, 2020 Gov. Jay Inslee allowed Kittitas County to move to phase 3. These phases are a part of Inslee’s Safe Start Plan according to the Washington State Department of Health. Kittitas County continues to work to keep Kittitas residents safe and healthy.

The Washington State Department of Health’s data sheet shows Kittitas County has low COVID-19 rates. The confirmed COVID-19 cases are 574. The counties that have the most confirmed cases are King County and Yakima County. Each of these counties has more than 10,000 cases. 

Counties in Phase 3 are able to attend outdoor activities with 50 people or less, resume non-essential travel, go to movie theatres with 25 percent max occupancy, libraries, and go to the gym with 25 percent max occupancy.

Kittitas County Health Department’s Coordinator Kasey Knutson says their main concern now is keeping up with the health and safety of students. Knutson says that Kittitas County will not advance to Phase 4 anytime soon. To get to that point, there has to be a vaccine for that to happen.

“There is a tentative timeline but we don’t have a vaccine … at this point, with Washington State, there is no Phase 4 to go to,” Knutson said.

At the moment, Knutson’s main focus is with the Kittitas County community. 

“We just always want people to keep an eye on their own mental health and reach out if they need help,” Knutson said.

Ellensburg District Association’s Executive Director Molly Jones understands the reasons for the mandated community guidelines. Jones thinks that the community’s progression is because of the cooperation of the public.

“I think our community does a really great job of minimizing the spread to the best of their ability,” Jones said.

With some businesses still struggling amidst the pandemic, Jones is hoping online shopping will help those struggling businesses. 

“Projections are showing that online shopping is going to be even bigger than it’s been before, so we’re gearing up for a lot of local promotion,” Jones explains.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many people’s lives. Jones herself remembers when things were so simple during pre-COVID times.

“I remember when I used to complain about doing events because there’s so much work,” Jones said. 

Although people are still adapting and getting back to their routines, impacted communities can continue to overcome this pandemic. To do that you can continue to follow the health and safety guidelines from Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.