By Mario Lotmore | Lynnwood Times Staff
Olympia, Wash., March 8, 2021 – Today, Republican leaders Sen. John Braun and Rep. J.T. Wilcox sent a letter this afternoon to Governor Jay Inslee requesting him to open businesses, houses of worship and other institutions to 50% capacity and to allow local health jurisdictions determine a county’s readiness for such a move.
The governor announced his “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan on January 5. On February 25, he said all regions would stay in Phase 2 for the next several weeks. As of March 3, the governor had not identified a Phase 3.
Because the governor has yet to identify a Phase 3 to his plan, on March 4, Republican leaders released Open Safe, Open Now – their plan for Phase 3 and beyond.
The following According to the plan, Phase 3 would return students back into the classroom immediately.
- All children in grades K-12 would immediately return to the classroom for in-person instruction.
- School districts would implement safety protocols provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have said distancing in schools should be reduced from six feet to three feet.
Phase 3 of the Open Safe, Open Now plan would immediately increase indoor capacity from 25% to 50% for businesses.
- Hospitality businesses and public venues statewide, such as restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, libraries, and other entertainment venues, would open to 50% capacity.
- Bars and restaurants would stop serving alcohol and close at midnight.
- State parks and other state agencies whose function is tourism/recreation would resume bookings for day-use and overnight facilities at 50% capacity.
- Indoor weddings and indoor religious services would open to 50% capacity.
- Professional services would open to 50% capacity.
The plan directs all activities return to 100% capacity for counties that operated at Phase 3 for three weeks with no significant spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations.