Statewide Move into Phase 3 on March 22
On Thursday, the state announced that effective March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3, a new third phase of the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery, and a return for in-person spectators for professional and high school sports.
Additionally, the state will be transitioning from a regional approach back to a county-by-county evaluation process.
The new phase will allow up to 50% occupancy or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces and applies to all industries and indoor activities currently allowed, including but not limited to restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, and movie theaters, among others.
Physical distancing and masking protocols must continue to be enforced.
Sports guidance will change in Phase 3 to allow in-person spectators at events for the first time in a year. Spectators will be allowed to attend outdoor venues with permanent seating with capacity capped at 25%. The change effects both professional and high school sports, as well as motorsports, rodeos, and other outdoor spectator events. Social distancing and facial covering are still required.
Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less, and must follow spectator guidelines.
A full list of industry-level changes for the new phase will be released next week.
With the transition back to a county-by-county evaluation process, the state will be monitoring counties individually. Evaluations will be conducted every three week, on Mondays, with any possible changes taking effect Friday. The first evaluation scheduled for April 12.
As with the previous evaluation process, large and small counties will have different sets of criteria. If any county fails one or more of the metrics below, that county will move down one phase. (See graphic for metrics.)
If at any point the statewide ICU capacity reaches greater than 90%, all counties will move down one phase.
For more information, see the Governor’s press release.