TACOMA, Wash.—On April 12, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Pierce County didn’t meet requirements to remain in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery plan. The county will move back to Phase 2 effective April 16.
In Phase 2:
- Social and at-home gatherings: indoor, maximum 5 people from outside your household, limit 2 households; outdoor, maximum 15 people from outside your household, limit 2 households.
- Worship services: indoor maximum is 25 percent of capacity.
- Food establishments: 25 percent indoor dining capacity; alcohol service and delivery and consumption must end at 11 p.m.
- Movie theaters, gyms: 25 percent capacity.
- Retail stores: 25 percent of capacity; encourage curbside pickup.
To remain in Phase 3, the county needed to meet one of the following Roadmap to Recovery metrics during the 3-week evaluation period:
- New COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over 14 days below 200. Pierce County is at 250.3 according to state data.
- New hospitalizations per 100,000 population over 7 days below 5. Pierce County is at 6.8 according to state data.
On April 9, the governor announced a county must fail both metrics to move back one phase. Previously, the criteria was to fail just one. The next evaluation is May 3.
Since the middle of March, cases in Pierce County have been on the rise. Variants that seem to spread more easily are also in circulation. Everyone has a role to play to continue practicing good habits—masking, distancing, getting vaccinated when your turn comes—to keep cases down.
“This rollback is disappointing, but we know what we must do to reduce disease spread and open up more of our economy,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “We are seeing more cases in small and informal gatherings. I know everyone is eager to get back to doing what they love, but we cannot let our guard down and allow the pandemic to come roaring back.”
Increased vaccine supply and expanded eligibility are signs of hope. But with more variants in circulation and cases on the rise, everyone must remain committed to the fight against COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. On April 15, vaccine eligibility expands statewide to include everyone 16 and older.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wear your mask.
- Maintain physical distancing.
- Limit your trips.
- Keep gatherings small.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Get a test if you experience symptoms or were exposed.
Learn more at tpchd.org/roadmap.
About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.