Skagit County remains unlikely to be ready to move into Phase 3 of the governor’s Safe Start plan by Friday, according to public health leadership.

While the county is currently meeting the criteria outlined in Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan, Director of Public Health Jennifer Johnson said she expects new cases of COVID-19 could keep the county in Phase 2.

One of the criteria states the number of new cases daily shouldn’t exceed 25 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period.

The county had 23.2 cases per 100,000 residents from June 4-17, the most recent 14-day period for which the state has complete data. A small increase would be enough to keep the county from advancing, Johnson said at a county briefing Wednesday.

County commissioners will meet with her on Friday to discuss the next steps, she said.

Each phase must last at least three weeks, meaning Skagit County will be eligible to apply starting Friday.

Now in Phase 2, Skagit County restaurants, salons and retail stores have been allowed to reopen at limited capacity.

Phase 3 will allow for gatherings of up to 50 people, let bars reopen at 25% capacity and let gyms, public-facing government offices, libraries, theaters and museums reopen at 50% capacity.

During the briefing, Bryan Brice, head of the county’s unified command, encouraged other community leaders to model good behavior to the public by always wearing masks.

— Reporter Brandon Stone:, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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