Spokane County in jeopardy of moving back to Phase 2

SPOKANE, Wash. — If current trends continue, Spokane County will be in jeopardy of being moved back to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan.

The county is averaging about about 119 cases per day and about 273 cases per 100,000 population over two weeks. The metric the state requires calls for fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 population per 14 days.

Spokane County is also above the threshold for hospitalizations. The local hospital metric is at 5.2 hospitalizations per 100,000 population in a week span, when the state says that number should be fewer than five.

If these numbers do not fall, Spokane County could be at risk of being moved back a phase during the next state evaluation. Governor Jay Inslee loosened the requirements counties needed to meet to stay in Phase 3 before the previous evaluation. In order to move down a phase, counties have to fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations, whereas previously, counties would move back if they failed just one. The loosened guidelines saved Spokane County from moving to Phase 2, but now the county is failing both requirements.

In a meeting Tuesday morning, Spokane Regional Health District officials said people ages 10-39 are causing the problems. People in this age demographic are responsible for 61 percent of new cases.

Health authorities again reiterated the importance of getting vaccinated, as it helps protect people from the virus and reduces transmission which could lead to additional variants. Every Washingtonian 16 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: Whitman County moving back to Phase 2, Spokane County staying in Phase 3

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