No Washington state counties will be rolling back their phase under the state’s Roadmap to Recovery plan following an announcement on May 4 by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The two-week pause means that counties will be locked into their current phase for two weeks, after which the state will begin re-evaluating each county’s status. The decision was made after discussing COVID-19 infection rates with the state Department of Health, suggesting that Washington’s fourth wave has hit a plateau, according to a press release from the governor’s office states.
“We are at the intersection of progress and failure, and we cannot veer from the path of progress,” Inslee said Tuesday. “Our economy is beginning to show early signs of growth thanks to some of our great legislative victorie,s and we know vaccines are the ticket to further reopening — if we adhere to public health until enough people are vaccinated.”
Epidemiologists have been following Washington state’s fourth wave of COVID-19 infections for the past several weeks as they increased. Now they appear to be leveling off. The fourth wave has been less severe, and case counts and mortalities have not been tied to rates of increase as they have in past waves, according to the press release. The state credits this to more people receiving vaccines, which shorten hospital stays and lessen the severity of the disease.
Vaccines are available to all Washingtonians ages 16 and up. Appointments can be found at VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.