On Monday, the state will decide which counties will roll back their phases.
The Washington State Health Department stated more than a dozen counties are poised to roll back.
The state will evaluate the two metrics on Monday and announce the changes on Tuesday. The rollbacks will take place Friday.
“This is a race between the vaccine and the virus. And right now, the virus is winning,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
To stay in phase 3, counties must have fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
The state reported Snohomish County sits just above that — at 201. King County is at 214.
Pierce County got knocked back to phase 2 the last time. And to stay there, it needs fewer than 350 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
It sits below that number at 309.
The other metric in play, when it comes to counties rolling back, is the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations in a week.
COVID-19 hospitalizations are climbing, reaching levels hospitals saw last November. This time, instead of them being older adults, it is now younger adults filling up hospital beds and intensive care units.
“Simultaneously, we have a new threat, a more powerful and dangerous threat, and that’s what I think we can call ‘COVID 2.0’”, said Gov. Jay Inslee about the COVID-19 variants taking hold.
In phase 3, counties need to have fewer than five new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. According to the state’s most recent data — which is still being confirmed — Snohomish County sits at 4.6 per 100,000 residents, and King County has 5.5 per 100,000 residents.
In Phase 2, Pierce County must stay below 10 hospitalizations, and the state is at 9.5 per 100,000 residents, which is very close.
“This is under our control; we’re simply not helpless here,” said Inslee.