State enters phase 3 of reopening plan

SEATTLE — All of Washington is now in phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan.

That means the state is back to a county-by-county evaluation process with all counties starting in phase 3.

It also means that people can once again attend professional and amateur sports events.

Indoor spaces such as restaurants, gyms and movie theaters in every county can now have up to 50% capacity.

Outdoor sports and spectator events

There will be certain restrictions, but Inslee said the Mariners will be able to welcome fans in person on Opening Day. The Mariners’ home opener is scheduled for April 1 against the San Francisco Giants.

In all cases, spectators must be physically distanced and wearing masks.

The rules here include professional and college stadiums as well as K-12 school sports, ballparks, motorsports racetracks, rodeos and similar venues.

In phase 3, a large outdoor venue with individual permanent designated seating, controlled entrances and exits, and the ability to monitor attendance may have up to 25% capacity per section or 9,000 spectators maximum, whichever is lower. An example of this would be T-Mobile Park.

For smaller outdoor venues, up to 400 people are allowed at 50% capacity.

Open, unreserved seating is not allowed at any outdoor venues.

See additional requirements at this link.

Outdoor entertainment

Outdoor entertainment such as zoos, gardens, aquariums, theaters, stadiums, event spaces, arenas, concert venues and rodeos can be open for a maximum of 400 spectators with capacity restrictions, depending on the facility. Walk-up tickets are allowed with restrictions.

Events at indoor facilities

The new phase also allows for up to 400 people maximum or 50%, whichever is less -- to attend events in indoor facilities with physical distancing and masking. Larger venue events are capped at 25% occupancy, or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less.

Other indoor spaces

Phase 3 allows up to 50% capacity or 400 people maximum, whichever is lower, for all indoor spaces. This applies to restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, card rooms, concert halls, bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums and other venues that were allowed in phase 2. Physical distancing and masks are still required.

More changes in phase 3

Retail stores, personal services such as salons, worship services and professional services can now have 50% capacity.

Indoor social gatherings are limited to up to 10 people from outside your household. Previously, it was five. You can now have up to 50 people at an outdoor social gathering, up from 15 in phase 2.

The governor’s office also said persons incarcerated in state or federal facilities will not count toward a county’s case rate for purposes of the state’s reopening plan. Workers in prisons, jails, detention centers and other correctional facilities, however, do count toward a county’s case rate.

See the full chart of what’s allowed in phase 3 at this link.

Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan

Counties will be evaluated every three weeks. The first evaluation is scheduled for April 12.

“If any county fails one or more of the metrics below, that county will move down one Phase in the HealthyWA plan,” the governor’s office said. “If at any point the statewide ICU capacity reaches more than 90%, all counties will move to Phase 1.”

IndicatorPhase 1Phase 2Phase 3
New cases per 100,000 population per 14 days>350350-200<200
New COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 population per 7 days≥109.9-5<5

The Department of Health will decide whether a county moves forward or backward.

If a county has less than 50,000 people, it will use the case rate and hospitalization metrics.

These counties are Klickitat, Asotin, Pacific, Adams, San Juan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Lincoln, Ferry, Wahkiakum, Columbia, Kittitas, Stevens, Douglas, Okanogan, Jefferson and Garfield.

The governor’s office detailed the metrics below:

IndicatorPhase 1Phase 2Phase 3
New COVID cases over 14 days≥6059-30<30
New COVID hospitalizations over 7 days>54.9-3<3

COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone in Tier 2 is now eligible for their COVID-19 vaccine.

This includes workers in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, public transit, firefighters and law enforcement, among others.

Tier 2 also includes people over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high-risk.