Washington moves to Phase 3 on Monday

Downtown Spokane Main Avenue

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington is moving to Phase 3 of reopening on Monday.

In just 24 hours, restaurants, gyms, salons and other retail and recreational spaces will be allowed to open at 50% capacity, and sports venues can reopen at 25% capacity.

Naturally, face masks and social distancing are still required.

For more than a year, businesses have been holding their breath waiting for this day — back in September, Spokane had languished for four months in Phase 2, back before the holiday resurgence of COVID that forced the U.S. back into lockdown.

Entire regions will no longer be evaluated for COVID activity. Instead, individual counties will be monitored, being required to make criteria such as the two-week number of COVID cases per 100,000 population and weekly COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 population. Smaller counties must have fewer than 30 new COVID cases every two weeks and less than three new COVID hospitalizations every week.

That first evaluation is scheduled for April 12.

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