“Counties that continue to have a large number of infections are unable to safely open stores, restaurants and services,” Inslee said in a statement.
The announcement did not specify which countries would see these delays. But the Inslee office released figures ranking the counties according to the criteria it used earlier this week to make 10 more counties – including Clark, Kitsap, Spokane and Thurston – eligible to start the second phase before June 1. .
This criteria allows counties with fewer than 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 population over a 14-day period to request state health officials to authorize them to proceed to the second phase.
This list shows a group of eastern Washington counties that experienced the worst in the two weeks leading up to May 17. Yakima County ranked worst on the list: it saw 1,043 new cases during this period, or about 408 cases per 100,000 population.
King’s County was the ninth-worst on the list, with 868 cases confirmed during the two-week period, compared to 39 cases per 100,000 population.
Snohomish County ranked 12th, with 255 cases in those two weeks, compared to 31 cases per 100,000 population.
Friday’s decision was based on these statistics, said Inslee spokesperson Tara Lee. But health officials are still discussing additional criteria and more developments may be announced next week, she wrote in an email.
Shortly after Inslee extended the stay order until May 31, state health officials said June 1 would be the target to start the second phase if health settings public opinion surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic appeared favorable.
Fourteen of 39 Washington counties have now received approval from health officials to begin the second phase, allowing a multitude of small businesses to restart with security guidelines to protect themselves from the virus.
The 14 counties are: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Lincoln, Lewis, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum and Whitman. They include an initial series of counties with less than 75,000 inhabitants and no confirmed cases for three weeks.
The limited number of restaurant meals and some retail store purchases will return in the second phase, as will businesses, including hairdressers, manicure salons, hair salons, tattoo artists, professional services and centers. fitness offering small group sessions.
State health officials on Friday confirmed 148 new cases of COVID-19 in Washington, including six other deaths.
That brings the state total to 19,265 cases and 1,050 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health (DOH) data dashboard. The dashboard shows 3,230 total hospitalizations in Washington.
Inslee also sent a letter to the Trump administration on Friday asking for more funding and an extension of the license to use Washington National Guard personnel to help the state respond to the pandemic.