Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday announced the expansion of Safe Start – Washington’s Phased Reopening plan as the current Stay Home, Stay Healthy order ends. “Now this does not mean obviously that we’re returning to normal. It means that three months to the day after we’ve declared a state of emergency we’re successfully moving forward.”

As of last week, 26 counties have been approved to move to Phase 2, they’ll need to stay in each phase for a minimum of three weeks before applying for another variance, meaning the first counties can apply for Phase 3 by June 3rd, Grays Harbor could be eligible by the 12th under new guidelines.

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman may approve a county’s variance if they have had no outbreaks in high-risk populations during the past week, less than 25 new cases per 100-thousand residents in the past 2 weeks, and if the confirmed case count appears flat or decreasing. Other criteria include available hospital capacity, amount of testing taking place daily, and contact tracing results in talking with people who may have been exposed by a recent positive case.

The Department of Health suggests a successful Safe Start depends on everyone continuing to do their part. As the state gradually reopens, it’s still safest to stay home. But if you do go out, remember to wear a mask, stay six feet apart and wash your hands frequently. It’s more important than ever to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across county lines by staying local.

Grays Harbor County Public Health and Emergency Management have been notified of the 17th case of COVID-19 in Grays Harbor County on Sunday. Public Health staff are reviewing the case and notifying close contacts. Grays Harbor Public Health COVID-19 Task Force is prepared to respond if any additional cases are identified.

Grays Harbor County has 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Grays Harbor County Public Health Department continues to operate a COVID-19 call center for testing referrals. Call (360) 964-1850. Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4pm.