State to expand indoor dining and allow fans in stadiums

Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan will allow businesses to operate at 50% capacity starting March 22.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference March 11, 2021.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference March 11, 2021.

As coronavirus infections continue to fall, Washington state is moving to expand indoor dining and allow fans back inside stadiums for professional sporting events.

On March 11, Gov. Jay Inslee introduced Phase 3 of the state’s “Healthy Washington” reopening plan. It will permit 50% capacity for business activity such as indoor dining, bowling, and going to the movies, as well as 25% capacity for professional and youth sporting events.

Phase 3 also allows 50% indoor occupancy — up to 400 people — for indoor or outdoor events such as weddings as long as there is social distancing and mask use.

Starting March 22, all of Washington will advance to Phase 3, but expanded spectator capacity for high school and youth sports will take effect four days earlier.

The state is ending a regional approach to reopening and reverting to county-by-county evaluations. The state Department of Health will review each county’s metrics every three weeks, with the first update coming April 12.

To remain in Phase 3, counties will have to report fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. And the rate of weekly hospitalizations cannot exceed five per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus continue to drop.

Inslee’s announcement came more than a month after King County entered Phase 2 of Healthy Washington. That allowed 25% capacity for indoor dining and other business activity that had been paused in November, as the state’s third wave of COVID transmission was beginning to hit.

For sports, previous state Department of Health regulations limited the number of people at outdoor sporting events to 200. That included everyone at the event — players, coaches, officials, school staff, cheerleaders, band members, media and fans.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.

Sound Publishing file photo
More people can get the COVID vaccine on March 31, but supply is still limited

The number of people eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is set… Continue reading

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (jnj.com)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading