UPDATE: Governor says our area can move to Phase 2 on Monday

2:36 PM: Just announced by Gov. Inslee as he starts another media briefing: The Puget Sound region in the “Healthy Washington” plan – including King County – will move to Phase 2 starting Monday. He’s changed the rules somewhat, enabling areas to advance by meeting 3 of 4 criteria instead of 4.

He also says the pace of vaccinating people is picking up, but the current bottleneck remains how many doses they can get from the federal government.

2:43 PM: The briefing has moved quickly to Q&A. The first question is about people who’ve had their first dose of vaccine and are having trouble getting an appointment for their second one. State officials who answered say it’s dependent on your provider, and the governor says he’s hoping that trouble will ease with the feds sending more vaccine.

2:59 PM: One of the changes is that they’ll be monitoring metrics and potentially announcing phase-change eligibility every 2 weeks, instead of weekly. But overall, he says a major drop in case numbers is one big reason that several counties including ours can move ahead. … Here are details on the governor’s announcement. … This is a two-phase plan, so, the governor was asked, when will we find out about what’s in Phases 3 and beyond? No word on that yet, Inslee replied. … The briefing ended at 3:11 pm.

3:29 PM: In case you’re wondering “so what’s allowed in Phase 2?” see page 5 of this. Biggest changes are for indoor dining, fitness, bowling alleys, movie theaters – all will be allowed indoor operations at 25 percent capacity.

71 Replies to "UPDATE: Governor says our area can move to Phase 2 on Monday"

  • Anne January 28, 2021 (2:43 pm)

    Just saw an interview with Mayor- she said she would not rule out holding Seattle in Phase 1. WSB- have you heard this?  

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (2:51 pm)

      No, I have not.

      • WSB January 28, 2021 (3:20 pm)

        I found what you’re referring to. The mayor’s currently in the Sound Transit board meeting; I’m asking her office about clarification on this.

        • Anne January 28, 2021 (3:40 pm)


          • WSB January 28, 2021 (4:10 pm)

            Here’s the statement I just got in response:

            The Mayor supports Seattle businesses cautiously moving to Phase 2 and Seattle will not be imposing any additional restrictions at this time. However, both the high level of cases and the emergence of the new variants are cause for concern for our region. The Mayor will continue to watch these numbers closely with PHSKC.

            The Mayor has also been working closely with our small businesses, and knows that predictability is important. The Mayor is concerned that unpredictability of these new variants could lead to the Puget Sound region going backwards in the upcoming weeks if residents and businesses do not continue to take public health precautions seriously.

  • Also John January 28, 2021 (2:48 pm)

    I like our Governor, but not a fan of this decision.    We’re being asked to double mask and I am.  Science is telling us the new Covid variants are easier to catch.  Science believes the new variants may be 0.1 micron versus 0.25 micron in size.  Meaning the variant more easily passes through a simple non-N95 cloth mask.    Lets not move to the next stage.  Lets continue to not gather.

    • Mary January 28, 2021 (4:13 pm)

      I 100% agree with you, Also John. This change in phases will not change my current behavior. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. We are still in the danger zone. We need to avoid gathering for a bit longer. 

    • Science January 29, 2021 (6:08 am)

      Science does not believe. Science is not sentient. Science doesn’t make decisions on public policy. Politicians use the word “science” to justify their decisions. There is no unanimous agreement in science.

      • Reality check January 29, 2021 (10:32 am)

        The statement ‘Science believes’ is accurate in that there is limited information at this point, as these strains are new, so what the field of Science currently accepts as true is based on preliminary data and is subject to change as more is learned.

        Definition of Believe:

         1. accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.

        Actually, why am I even trying here… your entire comment is just so bollocks.

      • Reality check January 29, 2021 (3:52 pm)

        My comment to your comment was just as bollocks. We may disagree, but no need to be rude about it. My apologies. ;)

        • Science check January 29, 2021 (5:34 pm)

          A scientist can believe. Groups of scientists can reach consensus. You’re using “science” with capitalization to suggest it’s a proper noun. A “field of Science” is equally incapable of “accepting” or “feeling” anything. Since you like the dictionary, try this one:sciencethe intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.I’m tired of people prescribing declarations of ultimate truth because “Science says” something. There is almost always disagreement among scientists, especially with COVID given how new this all is. Science is not an all-knowing deity. I’m not being pedantic. If we get in the habit of believing “the Science” is some unquestionable truth, and let politicians speak on its behalf, then we forfeit our intellect. Decide for yourself which scientists are worth listening to. Review scientific research rather than accepting it because it’s presented as unquestionable “Science.”

  • Anna Earl January 28, 2021 (3:00 pm)

    If she does it’s just going to push people to go out of the city. More business lost for our local economy. 

  • Emily January 28, 2021 (3:10 pm)

    This seems like a really bad idea given the uptick in more contagious variants and the CDC recommending people double mask now even for grocery trips or buy a $200 N95 mask. I know we made a Cascadia covid pact but I don’t want to go down the same hellish road CA is on now.

    • newnative January 28, 2021 (3:26 pm)


    • Ashley January 28, 2021 (3:39 pm)

      Agreed. Something just doesn’t seem right. Also the jump from phase 1 to phase 2 is huge in difference  I truly hope we are seeing a downward trend and people continue to follow all safety regulations so we don’t go backwards 

    • Manson January 28, 2021 (3:39 pm)

      Seems like a weird move at the moment, i second that. I wonder if i ll live long enough to write a book about this time, All the Wrong Moves; When Brunch Policy Ruled.

    • Emily January 28, 2021 (5:55 pm)

      FYI I’ve since learned of KN95 masks, which are more widely available and cheaper than N95s and seem to get the job done as well.

  • Tm January 28, 2021 (3:17 pm)

    Does anyone know why West Seattle was left out of designated vaccination sites? Even as we are cut off from the rest of the city by a broken down bridge? 

  • Jeremy B January 28, 2021 (3:40 pm)

    Yikes. The U.K. variant was just detected here 4 days ago. Case positivity rate is up 4% and we’re ignoring that because we’re only requiring 3 metrics be met now. And 5 out of 6 ICU beds are occupied, so there’s still room for some of you in case you leave both masks off for a little too long at the restaurant.

  • flimflam January 28, 2021 (3:40 pm)

    i’m a bit confused as to why the goal posts have been moved all the sudden…he only announced the region/4 category plan a couple of weeks ago, why suddenly change the requirements to 3 out of 4 of the categories when we have yet to reach 4 out of 4 yet? indoor dining when most restaurant workers are nowhere near able to be vaccinated? very confusing.

  • Uhhh January 28, 2021 (3:51 pm)

    I saw people at two tables in a restaurant last night at Alki. Did the restaurant open too soon?

  • jissy January 28, 2021 (4:07 pm)

    Annnddddd the metrics change again.  It’s pathological.

  • Concerned person January 28, 2021 (4:14 pm)

    So I can only have 15 people in my back yard but can go inside a bowling ally with 200 people. This doesn’t make sense. My 72 year old mother hasn’t been able to get an appointment for weeks. I know many people who work in hospitals that still haven’t received their first dose. Meanwhile you have hospitals prioritizing donors over the public. Sounds to me that the higher ups have received their vaccines and everyone else is expendable.. so sad. I don’t understand how they can fear monger us one second, then tell us how good we’re doing and how we can start getting back to normal the next. 

    • AMD January 28, 2021 (5:08 pm)

      Unless the bowling alley has a capacity of 800 people, no, you can’t.

      • Concerned person January 28, 2021 (10:40 pm)

        Showbox Sodo has a capacity of 1150 people.  The square footage of that building is not that much bigger than most bowling alleys. So a 800 person max capacity for a bowling alley is not unheard of.

    • Xtra skeptical January 28, 2021 (6:15 pm)

      I thought the same thing, Inslee got his shot so now… it’s okay to open back up again. 

  • MrsT January 28, 2021 (4:27 pm)

    All with new more contagious variants roaring in, and no timeline to  get vaccinated.  All with multiple infectious disease specialists warning of the dark days ahead of us.  This will not end well for any of us.

    • flimflam January 28, 2021 (5:36 pm)

      yeah. this seems clearly based on the economy and certainly no concern for restaurant workers safety. i understand business owners are suffering financial losses, but this move makes no sense other than to satisfy owners and/or appease poor, poor bored folks that just must have their num-nums served to them by an “essential” servant. most restaurant workers are nowhere on the vaccination schedule…

  • CarDriver January 28, 2021 (4:57 pm)

    Helloooo. This move isn’t lead by the gov. He’s getting HUGE pressure from restaurants and bars and other businesses to let them open up. If you’re angry let these businesses know.

  • Bpear January 28, 2021 (5:00 pm)

    It just seems like every time things open up cases rise as we close go back to square one.  

  • Virgil Jones January 28, 2021 (5:07 pm)

    Folks remember that only a small segment of the population is highly susceptible to bad outcomes from getting the novel corona virus.  We have kept children and young adults on lock down to prevent them from spreading the virus to people who are at risk.  To date half a million of these folks have at least been given one dose of the vaccine – this will mean that the number of folks who can get serious outcomes is shrinking, the number of cases is shrinking, the percentage of positive cases is shrinking, the r-naught number is shrinking and the number of avaliable icu beds is growing.  To me it is well past the time to let the kids be kids – get vaccinated as soon as you can and if you are at risk for bad outcomes please be smart and protect yourself.   Remember the reason for shutdowns is to enhance social distancing and masking up with the main goal to reduce the number of cases so our hospitals are not full!

    • KWest January 29, 2021 (8:04 am)


    • Jeremy B January 29, 2021 (8:08 am)

      The 14-day rate of new cases per 100K is up 4%. It’s not shrinking. 5 out of 6 ICU beds are full (but as long as that 6th stays open, we call it progress and relax restrictions).

    • elarem January 29, 2021 (1:24 pm)

      ah, yes kids and young adults who live alone and famously never come into contact with anyone else but other kids and young adults. large open colleges wreaked havoc on their wider communities.like it or not, pandemics are a TEAM sport and the federal government should have treated it as such from the outset.

  • Sue H January 28, 2021 (5:11 pm)

    No thank you. I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing (which is staying home except for essential errands/appointments). This is not a good idea, IMHO.

    • Lisab January 28, 2021 (7:38 pm)

      Agree, Sue!

    • KWest January 29, 2021 (8:11 am)

      I think it’s great that you can make the choice for yourself to stay home and limit your time in public. I think it would also be great if everyone had the choice to work and/or support businesses.

  • M January 28, 2021 (5:33 pm)

    I’m just frustrated that schools are not prioritized, yet again.  This will only hurt the case to re-open them as numbers will surely rise again with these particular allowances.  I’d much rather continue to get take out and open schools than eat in a restaurant and keep schools closed. 

    • Conrad January 29, 2021 (9:36 am)


  • TJ January 28, 2021 (5:49 pm)

    It’s about time. The vaccine is here, and while the rollout is slow, we will be well on the way to vaccinating the 60% of people who say they want it soon. It seems that some people will always be looking for another reason to keep our way of life restricted. It’s the “new strain” now. Im sure they will say there’s another strain in a month. Then what after that? Keep these measures in place until next fall to see if it mutates like the flu does? If people are nervous going out in public settings again, then they have the choice to not. But it’s way past time to let others the choice to get back to normal. 

    • heartless January 29, 2021 (9:04 am)

      To add some context to your comment, you wanted everything to be opened up way back in Spring of 2020.

      Maybe you’re not someone we should be listening to regarding these timetables…

  • Reyd3 January 28, 2021 (8:05 pm)

    Let’s just this progress finally happen and if you don’t want to take part. – stay home.You do you 

    • Concerned Person January 28, 2021 (8:27 pm)

      Not everyone is privileged enough to just “stay home” 

      • KWest January 29, 2021 (8:02 am)

        But those who are not privileged to stay home are the people that desperately need money to pay their bills. How do you expect them to pay for their rent and food if we don’t allow them to work?

    • Also a taxpayer and voter January 29, 2021 (12:27 am)

      The employment relationship is a pay exchange for labor, not a pay exchange for forfeiture of safety, health, or life. As an “essential worker” i’m required to continue working yet I have no access to a spot in the vaccine queue nor can I receive unemployment benefits if I withdraw my labor to protect myself. Thats a problem. Not progress.Your logic prioritizes socialization and economics over the health & safety of those who provide you with the enjoyable experiences you seek.During a deadly pandemic in which nearly half a million of our fellow citizens have perished and with multiple, more virulent, variant strains emerging, this “easing” of metrics for opening is reckless and irresponsible.So how about you make your own brunch, put it on the table and do the dishes. And i’ll “do me” instead. It’ll help keep everyone in our circles out of the emergency rooms where exhausted health care workers (who are also sick of this sh$t) have been forced to risk their lives and mental health daily for a year now. 

      • Reality check January 29, 2021 (3:14 am)

        Well said, thank you.

      • Lina January 29, 2021 (7:30 am)

        So well said @also a taxpayer and a voter.  Thank you.  There’s a whole load of privilege the the ‘you do you mindset’.  Ugh.

      • heartless January 29, 2021 (8:58 am)

        Hear, hear.  Well put, AATAV, thank you for writing that.

      • Wsresident January 29, 2021 (10:23 am)

        Why can’t you get your vaccination? If you go to find  app, you can plug in your details in and if you’re part of the important work force, you can look at the list, and get signed up for the vaccination. 

        • Also a taxpayer and voter January 29, 2021 (6:42 pm)

          Restaurant workers are considered part of the essential workforce but we don’t have a spot in the vaccine queue yet. Tbh I think lots of people should be vaccinated before us and this schedule would be fine if we were all doing takeout and having minimal contact with the public. Instead, we are serving people seated outside at the restaurants. And, thanks to the “eased” restrictions, we will soon serve them inside of the restaurants. Funny how we are serving people who, once seated, aren’t required to wear masks, yet we aren’t able to be vaccinated. Can anyone reference another industry (non medical/dental) where the workforce is required to work in direct exposure to persons not wearing ppe? And where their refusal to do so results in termination of employment and ineligibility for unemployment benefits? 

          • flimflam January 29, 2021 (8:58 pm)

            Sigh. All too true. Not feeling good about this or working on Monday. 

      • Reality check January 29, 2021 (6:20 pm)

        @also a taxpayer…

        Well said, thank you

      • Pessoa January 29, 2021 (8:01 pm)

        Biden has signed an executive order that will allow those like yourself to draw unemployment if you feel uneasy about Covid-19 exposure.  (It will have to go through state unemployment machinery, so I don’t know when it will take effect. ).  I think you may not fully realize the devastating impact that the virus is having, outside the of the thousands who have died.  A job is more than a paycheck.  A business is more than a livelihood.  Playing in the amateur community orchestra is more than playing a tune. They encompass a complete range of human activity that, when interrupted, cause grievous suffering.   You mock – or appear to – the person who is complaining that they can’t eat inside a restaurant, forget that the shuttered restaurant might be the blood, sweat and tears of an owner, the work and investment of a lifetime.   The lock downs are wreaking irreparable and irreversible damage for millions that don’t show on in Covid-19 stats.  And yes,  death, terrible as it is and as much as we grieve, is not the only metric society uses to measure suffering. 

  • wsres January 28, 2021 (9:37 pm)

    Am I the only one who thinks schools should wait longer to open? How are k-1kids going to double mask all day?

    • Emily January 28, 2021 (9:57 pm)

      That’s a good, fair question.

    • Mary Poppins January 28, 2021 (10:32 pm)

      As a care provider to children I am severely worried about the pressure to reopen schools and the effect it will have on educators and caretakers alike. Younger children have a hard enough time remembering to wash their hands let alone keep a mask (or 2) on all day.I understand the concern of keeping children from building social skills, and the hassle of arranging for alternative childcare, but other countries have dealt with far worse issues than staying home to prevent spread of virus with minimal effect on the students. There are places were children live through repeated bombings and ongoing wars and the children grow up and get educations and become doctors and lawyers and such. Studying from home one year is not going to make or break your child’s life, but it does put others lives in danger.The governor is currently picking and choosing who’s lives are expendable.

      • Jill January 29, 2021 (5:44 am)

        My son is 5 and has been masking since Summer and now double masking since this past week — he and other children I’ve seen out and about are better at this than most adults.  Kids are amazing at understanding why and what to do if we set a good example and set them up for success.  

    • Reality check January 29, 2021 (3:43 am)

      Not the only one. It does not make good sense to me at this time, at all.

      How many teachers will die or have permanent health disabilities as a result of this? How many families will lose a loved one? How many will choose to leave the profession because they aren’t comfortable with this decision? How quickly will community spread surge because more kids will catch the virus and share them with their families and then their families will spread them to coworkers, etc?

      Distance learning is a temporary solution that is helping keep people healthier and safer during a pandemic. We should utilize this solution until we are out of the woods, we are not out yet. We’ve merely plotted a course and set our compass and started walking. We should stay on course.

      Teachers should be protected, not endangered, and made to feel disposable.


    • Dubs January 29, 2021 (8:06 am)

      SPS also is conveniently leaving out that the fact preschool students will not be required to follow the safety precautions they keep advertising to parents. They do not need to mask or keep any kind of distance. They somehow keep forgetting to tell the community this fact. 

  • odroku January 28, 2021 (10:23 pm)

    Outdoor rec sports for our kids may actually happen this spring. Everyone keep doing the right thing & we’ll get there!

  • Beth January 28, 2021 (10:32 pm)

    So the 3 most populous counties in the state get to move to stage 2……but the rest @ stage 1 🤔. Makes total sense or votes 🤷‍♀️

    • WSB January 28, 2021 (10:46 pm)

      No, 7 counties are moving to Phase 2. See the map above.

    • 2 Much Whine January 29, 2021 (8:29 am)

      Hey Beth, who’s hunting for votes?  The election is over.  Could it be, perhaps, that more populated counties have done a better job of masking up due to social pressure and perceived higher risk from higher populations?  Just an observation but last summer I travelled through some of the counties that are remaining at phase 1 and mask wearing was more of a suggestion than a rule.  In some places it was non-existent (typically where COVID had been politicized and there were lots of Culp signs).   I do not have any empirical evidence to back this up but I am sure there are health care professionals that study this for a living and they have access to the data and help guide policy.  It’s merely my observation but the map pretty much matches what I experienced.  Westport seemed to take it seriously and all the shops said masks were required to be in the store and I saw few violations.  Sekiu, on the other hand, had signs that said the government was requiring them to post a sign but they’d assume if you weren’t wearing a mask, then you probably had a health issue and they wouldn’t ask about it.  Westport is moving to phase 2.  Sekiu is not.  Just one example so by no means scientific.

  • KWest January 29, 2021 (7:56 am)

    Individuals who still feel at risk and are able to should continue to stay home, but everyone else needs to get back to work to pay their bills and it seems backward to refuse to let them. No one is forcing them back to work but why refuse them the opportunity? We are destroying lives if we continue locked down. Our abundance of caution has done/will do more harm than good. 

    • Anne January 29, 2021 (10:49 am)

      Yeah that “abundance of caution “to save lives is such a nuisance. Am so  tired of hearing the variations of “ the cure is worse than the disease”.Is it hard- very hard to follow these protocols- darn right it’s hard-even harder for some than others. But the goal is to save lives/ not just our own- but any life.  If more people would have /would now follow masking,distance , gathering ‘ traveling protocols -we might not have had to endure a year of this- now with more contagious variants spreading- we could be looking at a much tougher future. 

  • flimflam January 29, 2021 (9:23 am)

    still not understanding what this is based on. the 4 category set up he brought out a few weeks ago suddenly changes to 3 out of 4? why?

  • M January 29, 2021 (10:09 am)

    I can tell you most bowling alleys have capacity of 350 people or less.  25% capacity is less than 100. If you don’t feel comfortable to bowl, then don’t go! Costco has always had dozens if not hundreds of people shopping throughout the whole pandemic.  I am glad we are moving to phase 2.  I am especially glad the small business restaurants can re-open.  While I probably won’t be doing any indoor dining soon, as I only did indoors twice last year, I would not want those who feel comfortable eating indoors to not have that option.  If you are afraid to go to a restaurant, then stay home. No one is stopping anyone from following their current safety protocols to protect their own self.  It’s time for others to get back to some sort of normalcy.  Everything we do has risks. You risk getting in a car accident. You risk food poisoning, etc.  I don’t let this virus rule my life.  I take the necessary precautions.  I minimize my time around other people such as at grocery stores which is where I think is my greatest risk of getting Covid.  I feel comfortable going to the gym. I don’t feel comfortable eating indoors, but I wouldn’t stop others from dining indoors. 

    • wsperson January 29, 2021 (5:17 pm)

      If you have a doctor’s appointment or have to go to work when cases are higher, your chances of catching the virus will be higher – even if you choose not to go bowling, or eat out, etc. 

  • Concerned parent January 29, 2021 (11:16 am)

    I just want to put it out there to all frustrated parents… my kid was flailing with his cohort ($225 per week, M-Th 8:30-11:30, sitting at an I-pad with headphones on), then veering on to YouTube if I wasn’t there constantly.  Then I paid $400 a month for a private tutor (via zoom).  He was extremely behind.  I was stressed, depressed, financially drained.  Then I put him in…. Catholic school!  Amazing!  Drop off at 8am, pick up at 3pm.  He wears a uniform and the school is amazing about keeping the kids safe.  He has classmates, awesome teacher, recess, lunch… normalcy.  No computers, no headphones.  He loves the routine.  And he has excelled so much now (academically and emotionally).  And the kicker is… I pay $600 less a month than what I was doing in “public” school.  I am not religious, but I grew up learning about religion and it is a very real part about our history.  They don’t indoctrinate him, and they welcome all.  He is surrounded by a very diverse group of kids.  They offer financial aid and it is completely affordable… especially if you work and have been paying for childcare, cohorts, and/or special tutoring.  This has been (pardon the pun) a Godsend!  There has been zero Covid issues and they are meticulous with all protocols.  My mental health has improved knowing my child is in good hands.  Those that have been successful with online learning, great.  But those that are desperate, you should really consider this.  If you want information, I would be happy to help.  I know his school is taking new students pre-school- 8th grade.  We can set up a private correspondence.  I also tell my son he can go back to public school, only if it is “in house”, and honestly, I think he will want to stay.Just reading this thread makes me feel for those that have to work outside the home (like me).  I too think it is crazy that restaurants are open while school isn’t… and get this, I own a food establishment and have lost so much.

Sorry, comment time is over.