- 1:56 p.m. May 1, 2021: Mukilteo School District has confirmed that in-person instruction will still continue unless directed otherwise. However, Athletics may be impacted.
- 9:15 p.m. April 28, 2021: Washington Education Association President, Larry Delaney, has confirmed that he doesn’t see a change to current school operations if the county were to revert to Phase 2.
- 2:30 p.m. April 28, 2021: Edmonds School District has confirmed that in-person instruction will still continue unless directed otherwise. However, Athletics may be impacted.
- 1:24 p.m. April 28, 2021: Lake Stevens School District has confirmed that in-person instruction will still continue unless directed otherwise. However, Athletics may be impacted.
- 1:11 p.m. April 28, 2021: Everett Public Schools has confirmed that in-person instruction will still continue if the county reverts to Phase 2.
Snohomish County, Wash., April 28, 2021 – As Snohomish County braces for the May 3 evaluation, metrics indicate that the county will likely revert back to Phase 2 restrictions by May 7.
Case counts and hospitalizations have been rising in Snohomish County increasing the likelihood to revert back to Phase 2 despite the allocation of 564,265 vaccines of which 202,662 residents have been fully vaccinated as of April 20.
“A rollback to Phase 2 is unacceptable,” Snohomish County Councilman Nate Nehring provided in a statement to the Lynnwood Times. “We keep hearing that much of the spread of COVID-19 is happening through indoor gatherings at private residences; if that is the case, there is no reason to further restrict our local restaurants and businesses which have been working in good faith to keep their customers safe. Furthermore, with vaccinations now widely available the state should be looking to reduce restrictions rather than impose more stringent ones.”
On March 22, 2021, a third phase of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan took effect across Washington state. Under the plan, counties are individually evaluated every three weeks. Large and small counties have different sets of appropriate criteria based on case counts and hospitalizations. In order to move down one phase a county must fail both metrics for case counts and hospitalizations.
In Snohomish County, the current data point for new COVID cases as of week ending April 24 is 223 per 100,000 population over 14 days which exceeds the 200 per 100,000 population threshold and a 51% increase when compared to three weeks ago.
Hospitalizations have also been rising. The new hospitalizations per 100,000 population for the week ending April 24 (latest reported value) is 5.3 up from 1.7 on March 20. The provisional (not finalized) value is 6.3 for reported cases as of April 26.
“We are now within a fourth wave,” local health officer Dr. Chris Spitters said in his April 27 COVID-19 briefing. “Those are all north of the threshold of 5 hospitalizations per 100,000 per week. So that clicks both of the parameters the state uses to monitor the return to recovery making it likely that we will be asked to move back to Phase 2 next week.”
Impact of Reverting to Phase 2
Establishments that were allowed to operate at a 50% capacity will revert back to a maximum capacity of 25%. No sporting tournaments will be allowed under Phase 2 restrictions.
The Lynnwood Times is awaiting how a downgrade of the county to Phase 2 will impact in-person instruction for school districts. According to Heather Thomas, Public & Government Affairs Manager with the Snohomish Health District, schools are separate from the Roadmap to Recovery framework and hence, it will be up to each district how it will operate if Snohomish County were to revert to Phase 2 next week.
Unless Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington state Department of Health revise the criterion to remain in Phase 3, the following Phase 2 restrictions will be returning:
- Social and At-Home Gathering Size — Indoor: Max 5 people from outside your household, limit 2 households.
- Social and At-Home Gathering Size — Outdoor: Max 15 people from outside your household, limit 2 households.
- Retail Stores: Maximum 25% of capacity, encourage curbside pick-up
- Worship Services: Indoor maximum 25% capacity.
- Eating and Drinking Establishments: Indoor dining available 25% capacity.
- Gyms: Indoor maximum 25% capacity.
- Outdoor Sports: Low, moderate, and high-risk sports competitions allowed (no tournaments), maximum 200 including spectators.
- Indoor Entertainment Establishments: Maximum 25% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less.
- Outdoor Entertainment Establishments: Groups of 15, limit 2 households per group, maximum 200 including spectators for events.