Clark County To Request Phase 3 Reopening

Clark County Public Health is preparing an application that, if approved, would allow the county to move into Phase 3 of the state’s four-phased reopening plan.

Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director, submitted a letter Tuesday to the Clark County Board of Health recommending that the county apply for full implementation of Phase 3. The Board of Health voted during its meeting Wednesday morning to move forward with the application.

Public Health intends to submit the application for Phase 3 on Friday, June 26. That is the earliest the county can apply for Phase 3, due to the requirement that counties spend at least three weeks in Phase 2. Clark County entered Phase 2 on June 5.

The Washington State Department of Health has outlined targets for several metrics for moving to Phase 3. Counties should have an incidence of fewer than 25 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 county residents and be able to demonstrate adequate staffing for case interviews and contact notifications, adequate testing capacity and low positivity rates, adequate staffing to conduct outbreak investigations in congregate settings, and the ability to provide isolation and quarantine services for the unhoused population.

Public Health will provide an update once the application is submitted. State Secretary of Health John Wiesman will review the application and make a determination. Public Health does not have a timeline for when a decision will be made.

While Clark County intends to apply for Phase 3, the county is not yet approved for the next phase. Clark County remains in Phase 2. Residents and businesses should continue to follow the Phase 2 guidance outlined by the governor until Clark County has been approved for the next phase.

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