Yakima County Now in Phase 2 of Reopening Plan
Yakima County is now in Phase 2 of the state's Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery after the Washington State Department of Health approved the move on Sunday. Last week state officials announced the South Central Region which included Yakima County would remain in Phase 1 because the area met two of the four metrics for reopening. However after an analysis by city and county officials and others a press release say "it was discovered that a hospital in the region had been in correctly reporting its hospital admission data. This information was sent to WDOH which conducted an additional review of the data and used the hospital’s updated information to confirm that the region did meet this metric and subsequently the criteria to move into Phase 2."
The release from the Yakima Health District says in "Phase 2, indoor social gatherings with 5 or less people outside of the household are permitted, as well as outdoor gatherings with a maximum of 15 people. Phase 2 guidance also allows indoor services for restaurants, movie theaters, fitness and other entertainment and recreation activities at 25% capacity. Ceremonies and indoor receptions, wakes or similar gatherings are also permitted, following the appropriate venue requirements. Community members are encouraged to visit the Yakima Health District’s website for additional information on Phase 2 guidance.
The Washington State Department of Health will continue to reassess metrics every two weeks.
In order to remain in Phase 2, regions must meet three out of the four metrics.
If a region only meets two or less of the metrics, they will move back into Phase 1."
Andre Fresco, Executive Director says "This is good news for everyone in our region. We share the community’s excitement of moving into Phase 2 of reopening. We are also thankful for all the staff at the state Department of Health, our region’s hospitals, community partners and local elected officials who worked together to analyze and reassess our data. We encourage everyone to continue to follow safety precautions so that we are able to remain in Phase 2moving forward"
The Yakima County Commissioners released a statement thanking those who helped correct information and helped the region move to Phase 2 "Special thanks is given to Senator King, Perry Dozier, State Senator, 16th District and Senator Andy Billig for obtaining bi-partisan support for DOH to quickly address this discrepancy, and to Rep. Dan Newhouse who reached out to Governor Jay Inslee directly to convey his concern and support for immediately allowing our Region to advance into Phase 2 with the rest of Washington state. Much thanks to Commissioner Greg Tompkins, Commissioner Will McCay, Commissioner Cory Wright, and Commissioner Brad Peck for coordinating all their data with area Health Districts and believing we could do this. Our Yakima Health District staff stepped up to the challenge and helped our partner health agencies communicate successfully with DOH. Thank you for your hard work!"