Coronavirus Skagit

Skagit County will remain in Phase 1 of the state’s new COVID-19 recovery plan until at least Feb. 15, as it again meets only two of the four metrics.

New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still increasing in the four-county region that includes Skagit, but their growth has slowed compared to data presented last week.

In the region — Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties — new COVID-19 cases increased by 69% over the 14 days from Jan. 3 to Jan. 16, and new hospitalizations increased by 19% in the 14 days from Jan. 10 to Jan. 23, according to the state’s Roadmap to Recovery data dashboard.

In the previous week’s update, new COVID-19 cases in the region increased by 89%, while new hospitalizations increased by 50%.

Data used is the most recent that the state Department of Health is able to verify.

According to Gov. Jay Inslee’s update relaxing the Healthy Washington plan Thursday, regions need to meet three of the four metrics. Cases and hospitalizations must each fall by at least 10%, ICU occupancy must be less than 90% and the test positivity rate must be below 10%.

With regions now needing to meet three metrics instead of all four, two regions will move into Phase 2 on Monday. Among the two is the region that includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

The two metrics the region that includes Skagit County continue to meet deal with ICU occupancy and test positivity.

This week, ICU occupancy was at 58% regionwide, and the test positivity rate was 9%. Last week, those metrics were 60% for ICU occupancy and 8% for test positivity.

Starting next week, regional metrics will be re-evaluated every two weeks, rather than every week, according to Inslee’s plan update.

During Phase 1, indoor dining is prohibited and indoor gatherings banned. Gyms are limited to appointment-only and to one customer per 500 square feet, and bowling alleys and other entertainment facilities are restricted to private parties of individual households of no more than six people.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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