Local counties weeks from qualifying for phased COVID-19 reopening

Phases for scaling back COVID-19 restrictions under Gov. Jay Inslee's "Safe Start Washington" strategy.

WENATCHEE — Chelan and Douglas counties want Gov. Jay Inslee to allow them to move out from under his emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. But so far, neither county qualifies to start reopening under the governor’s phased recovery plan.

To do so, small counties must go three weeks without detecting a new case of coronavirus, but the Chelan-Douglas Health District reported new COVID-19 cases as recently as two days ago. A total of 233 had been detected in the two counties as of this morning, including seven deaths.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett wrote an open letter Tuesday to Gov. Inslee, urging reopening. However, on the same day, Chelan County commissioners extended their own state of emergency until at least June 1s.