Jay Inslee, Washington Governor. (Photo by the Governor of Washington State)
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that all counties in the state will move into Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Roadmap To Recovery. The change will bring new levels of capacity for indoor restaurants, a limited number of spectators at sporting events, and a new eligibility for vaccines.
The changes across the state will take effect on March 22nd.
Inslee attributed progress in lowering case rates and hospital stays, as well as efforts to increase vaccinations.
Vaccinations: The transition to Stage 2 for vaccinations begins Wednesday and includes agricultural, food processing, grocery, public transportation, fire services, and law enforcement workers, among others. The tier also includes anyone over the age of 16 who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk, the governor’s office said in a press release.
Meanwhile, President Biden is due to instruct states to qualify all adult Americans for recording no later than May 1, according to the New York Times, which reported that Biden will use his first nationwide prime-time television address on Thursday, which he expects Life in the US will return to some sort of normal by July 4th.
Sports: For the first time in a year, spectators can cheer on their teams. The change affects professional and university sports as well as motorsports, rodeos and other events. In the new phase, a maximum of 400 people can take part in outdoor activities and indoor events. As long as 400 people do not exceed the 50% capacity of the site and physical distancing and masking protocols are enforced. Larger venues are capped at 25% or up to 9,000 people, whichever is lower.
- Baseball fans in Seattle can watch the Mariners on the opening night of the baseball season on April 1st at T-Mobile Park. The team will allow up to 9,000 fans. Inslee ended his press conference on Thursday by saying, “Play ball.”
Welcome Home. ????
We are pleased to announce that 9,000 fans can safely return to @TMobilePark from the opening night on April 1st.
Everything you need to know ⤵️ https://t.co/hQaZOfaEaI pic.twitter.com/LbChMr6dSs
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 11, 2021
- Seattle Sounders FC said its goal is to get a limited number of fans for the club’s 2021 MLS home opener against Minnesota United on April 16. The club said it will learn more details in the coming days. It would be the first time since March 2020 that fans would attend a soccer game.
Restaurants and more: Phase 3 allows an occupancy of up to 50% or a maximum of 400 people, whichever is lower, for all interior spaces. This manual applies to currently permitted indoor activities and instructs restaurants, gyms and cinemas, cinemas and others to increase their capacity.
Keep an eye on the numbers: The districts will be assessed individually every three weeks under the new plan, and any district that does not meet one or more of the metrics listed in the following table will be moved down one stage in the Heathy Washington plan.
(Washington State Governor’s Office)
Threats persist: New Variants of SARS-CoV-2 Virus Remain a Threat and Public Health – Seattle & King Counties emphasized the need to reduce transmission and vaccinate as many people as quickly and fairly as possible before variant strains spread widely.
“If we give up our vigilance, we’ll have to pay with these variants,” said Jeff Duchin, public health officer – Seattle & King County, Thursday. “The advantage is that we can take steps to limit the damage. The same precautionary measures that have helped us reduce the number of cases in the past can also protect us from the variants as long as we are diligent. “