Coronavirus Skagit

Skagit County was approved Friday morning to move into  Phase 2 of the state's Safe Start plan.

Phase 2 begins immediately.

Gov. Jay Inslee's four-phase Safe Start plan promotes a gradual reopening of the state's economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to move forward. It is long overdue,” said county Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson said in a news release.

Phase 2 is not a total lifting of Stay Home, Stay Healthy restrictions, stated the release. Much of the guidance issued by county Health Officer Howard Leibrand is still in effect.

He urged everyone who can to wear a mask in public, maintain at least six feet of distance from others, 

While many will be allowed to return to work, people who can continue to work from home should do so, the release states. 

Phase 2 allows for the reopening of some in-person retail, professional services, personal services and restaurants with up to 50 percent capacity. 

Businesses must be able to comply with issued guidelines on physical distancing and hygiene, stated the release.

Skagit County first submitted an application last Friday — the same day the governor changed his criteria for moving to Phase 2.

The county sent an updated application Monday, and provided additional information Wednesday at the request of the state Department of Health.

A total of 14 counties were approved Friday morning to move into the next phase of reopening.

Among those that also were approved to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 were Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

This story has been updated

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