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Governor moves Pierce County into Phase 3 of Roadmap to Recovery

TACOMA, Wash.—Today, Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans to move Pierce County and the rest of Washington into Phase 3 of Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery.

Beginning March 22, the relaxed restrictions on businesses and social gatherings take effect.

Changes include:

Pierce County restaurants can open with 50 percent indoor dining capacity. Alcohol service and delivery and consumption must end at midnight close.
Movie theaters, gyms can increase to 50 percent capacity.
Fans will be able to attend professional and amateur sports event, including high schools capacity is capped at 25 percent.
More sports will restart games for Pierce County students.

Also, beginning March 17, all people in Phase 1 B, Tier 2 will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The eligible group will expand to include:

Grocery stores workers.
Public transit employees.
Law enforcement and firefighters.
Corrections, prison, jail, and detention center officers.
Food processing workers.
People 16 years or older who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

Since the peaks of December and January, COVID-19 cases have steadily declined in the county. Find the latest case data at www.tpchd.org/covid19cases. The move to Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery shows progress against the disease.

“Thank you to everyone who stepped up to knock down our skyrocketing cases,” said Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH. “Disease rates are down and vaccine supplies continue to increase, which is bringing more hope and healing to our community. However, with plateauing rates and new variants, we still need to be vigilant and continue to mask, keep our distance, and limit our travel and socialization,” he said.

To remain in Phase 3, Pierce County must meet two metrics outlined in the Roadmap to Recovery plan:

New cases per 100,000 population over 14 days must remain below 200.
New hospitalizations per 100,000 population over 7 days must remain below 5.

The county could be returned to Phase 2 if it fails to meet the requirements in the future. State Department of Health will release new calculations every three weeks. The next announcement will be April. 12. In the new plan, the county will no longer be a part of the 3-county region with King and Snohomish counties.

At any point, if the statewide intensive care unit capacity reaches greater than 90 percent, all counties will move down one phase.

Even as we move into a new phase, your role to stop the spread of COVID-19 remains critical:

When it’s your turn, get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Wear your mask.
Maintain physical distancing.
Keep gatherings small.
If you’re sick, stay home.
Limit your trips.
Wash your hands frequently.
Get a test if you experience symptoms or were exposed.

Learn more at tpchd.org/roadmap.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 244 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

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