Washington's regions remain in Phase Two indefinitely
Vaccine priorities shifting
Last updated 3/3/2021 at 8:06am
All eight of Washington's regions are in Phase Two of the state's phased plan for reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic and will be there for "at least several weeks," according to the office of Gov. Jay Inslee.
Phase Two of the plan has less stringent restrictions on individuals, schools, and businesses.
Regions were required to meet data metrics related to COVID in order to move to Phase Two, and warned that if those stats got worse, a region could move back to Phase One.
However, Inslee announced Feb. 25 that all eight of the regions, which have been in Phase Two since at least Feb. 14, would not be moving backwards.
"Future phases are still being discussed by state leaders in partnership with stakeholders in local government, business and labor," a Feb. 26 newsletter from Inslee's office reads, addressing concerns expressed by the public about what Phase Three will look like.
The newsletter said that Inslee, "is optimistic about current trends in COVID-19 activity, particularly the steady decrease in cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic's third wave peaked toward the end of 2020. These trends coincide with progress in another important front in the battle against COVID-19: More than 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Washington state."
In a development late Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced a directive to all states to get every pre-K educator, K-12 teacher, and childcare worker at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine in the month of March.
The state Dept. of Health said in a statement that it "is working quickly to get clarity from the Biden Administration to ensure roll-out in our state will result in ample vaccine supply through various providers and equitable access for education and childcare workers. Vaccine supply will likely primarily be delivered through the federal pharmacy program, and the directive indicates all vaccine providers should prioritize these workers."
People are still urged to keep each other safe by using facial coverings, distancing, and practicing basic good hygiene like handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes.
Local Covid numbers up 67%
The Grand Coulee Dam School District's website, http://www.gcdsd.org, includes a link to COVID rates within the district, collecting Covid data from Okanogan County, the Colville Tribes, and Grant County to determine how many cases of Covid have been in five local zip codes within the school district in the past 14 days. The data is updated on Fridays.
The website reports that as of Feb. 25 there were 19 cases in the district in the past 14 days making for a Covid new case rate of 310 cases per 100,000 residents.
This shows a 67% increase over the previous week's rate of 187 cases per 100,000 people.
Indian Health Service offering vaccines to registered patients over 18
A notice from the Indian Health Service's Colville Service Unit says that registered patients over 18 years old can schedule a vaccine by calling the Nespelem clinic at 509-634-2989 or Omak's clinic at 509-422-5683.
"All vaccines are scheduled," the notice reads. "You need to be an active registered patient prior to being scheduled. We schedule weekly to maximize our received vaccines."
Staff can help people become registered patients, the notice explains.