News Flash

Health & Human Services

Posted on: May 13, 2021

Statewide reopening date set for June 30, Cowlitz County will move to Phase 3 next week

LONGVIEW, Washington — Cowlitz County, along with all other counties in the state, will move to Phase 3 of the state’s “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” reopening plan effective May 18 until June 30.

In an announcement today, Governor Jay Inslee set a statewide reopening date of June 30. Full reopening of the state could happen even earlier if 70% or more people in the state age 16 and above initiate vaccination.

To date, 57% of Washingtonians age 16 or older have initiated vaccination and more than six million doses have been administered.

In Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, indoor social gatherings are limited to ten people from outside a person’s household. Outdoor social gatherings can have a maximum of 50 people. Indoor dining at food establishments can operate at up to 50% capacity.

Indoor fitness and recreation facilities and activities can operate at no more than 50% capacity. Indoor entertainment can operate at a maximum occupancy of 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is less. Worship services have a maximum indoor occupancy of 50%.

Businesses and industries must follow the guidance for reopening outlined on Governor Jay Inslee’s website. If statewide ICU capacity reaches 90% at any point, activities will be rolled back again.

“Starting today, COVID-19 vaccine is available to people age 12 and older. If you are eligible, now is the time to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Steven Krager, deputy health officer for Cowlitz County. “The announcements today reflect how effective these vaccines are. We’ve made great progress in Cowlitz County, but we can do more.”

Right now, about 47% of Cowlitz County residents age 16 and above have initiated vaccination.

The state will also move forward with adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new masking guidance for fully-vaccinated people. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two weeks after getting the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

The CDC’s new guidance says people who are fully vaccinated can resume activities without wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance. The guidance does not apply to health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters or schools. The federal order requiring masks on public transportation remains in place.

The governor’s office is working with the Washington State Department of Health and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries to update its guidance documents to reflect the new changes. Businesses retain the right to require customers wear masks.

To read more about the state’s reopening plan, visit Governor Jay Inslee’s website.

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