Grant County, which was hit hard early by COVID-19, now eligible for Phase 2 of reopening plan

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Grant County, which reported Eastern Washington’s first COVID-19 case on March 4 and its first death on March 7, is now eligible to move to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan.

Inslee added Grant, Cowlitz and Pacific counties to the eligible list Thursday evening, meaning 25 of the state’s 39 counties can now either apply for or have already been approved to move to Phase 2.

Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties remain in Phase 1 and have been unsuccessful in their efforts to move to Phase 2.

Under Phase 2 numerous businesses are allowed to reopen, though some on a limited basis and with restrictions.

Grant County led Eastern Washington in cases for much of March, with Quincy especially hard hit.

As of Thursday, Grant County had 197 confirmed cases of the virus and four deaths. Quincy has reported 73 of those positive tests.

Chelan County has had 208 positive tests and six deaths, with a recent spike in cases.

On Wednesday, Chelan County reported 11 new positive tests, and Friday morning an additional six.

Veronica Farias, communications director for the Chelan-Douglas Health District, said the jump in positive tests has no simple explanation.

“The 11 cases were not related to any specific testing effort or identified cluster, Farias said. “Unfortunately, we have had several of these days lately with relatively high numbers of dispersed, unrelated cases.”

Douglas County has had 141 positive tests and three deaths.