Here are the 4 steps to apply for a waiver to skip ahead to Phase 2

At their May 5, 2020 council meeting, San Juan County Council will discuss whether to apply for a waiver to Governor Jay Inslee's four-phased reopening plan. Ten other counties are eligible to apply to skip ahead to Phase 2.

On May 4, 2020, Governor Inslee released more information about waivers.

Counties that meet the criteria and wish to submit a variance application must:

1) Submit a signed recommendation from the local public health officer to the local board of health with one of the following recommendations: not to request a variance and stay in Phase 1; to request a variance to include all of the Phase 2 modifications above; or request a subset of Phase 2 modifications.

2) The local board of health, if they choose to move forward with a variance request, must vote on such a request.

3) The local hospital(s) must submit a letter certifying that they have adequate bed capacity to serve their community and adequate PPE supplies to keep their workers safe.

4) The county commission/council must request to move to Phase 2 (or a subset of Phase 2) of the “Safe Start” plan.

The numbers of tests conducted and positive results on the list below are from the state Department of Health as of 11:59 April 30, 2020. There were no deaths in any of the counties listed below. The Department of Health posts an updated data set on Sundays showing the date of the most recent positive test in a county. The dates listed are from the Sunday, April 26 data set.

San Juan County - population 17,128 (2018) - has tested 620 people. Test results were positive for 14 for a 2.3 percent positive rate.  The number tested is different than the 772 shown on the county's website on May 1. The county isn't able to list the number of tests pending results, that might explain the discrepancy. The county's most recent positive test was April 16 according to the county's Emergency Operation Center. The state's DOH has the date listed as April 12.

Here are the stats on the 10 counties that may be able to skip ahead to Phase 2. 

Columbia County - population 4,059 (2018)  - has tested 67 people  with one positive test result for COVID-19 for a 1.5 percent positive rate.

Ferry County - population  7,649 (2018) - has tested 123 people. One tested positive for COVID-19 for a 0.8 percent positive rate.

Garfield County - population 2,247 (2018) - has tested 17 people with zero positive results. 

Grays Harbor - population 75,061 (2019) - has tested 940 people with 12 positive results for a 1.3 percent positive rate. Most recent positive test recorded on April 5, 2020.

Jefferson County - population 31,729 (2018) - tested 298 people. There were 28 positive results for a 9.8 percent positive rate. Most recent positive test recorded on March 29, 2020.

Kittitas County - population 47,935 (2019) - has tested 708 people. There were 15 positive results for a 2.1 percent positive rate. Most recent positive test recorded on April 5, 2020.

Lincoln County's - population 10,740 (2018) - has tested 157 people with two positive test results for a 1.3 percent positive rate. The most recent positive test result for  COVID-19 was on April 10 according to Lincoln County's website. One of the two cases was from a non-resident. According to the county's website: The non-resident was tested in Lincoln County and is recovering at their vacation home in Lincoln County. 

Pend Oreille County - population 13,602 (2018) - has tested 212 people. There were two positive test results for a 0.9 percent positive rate.

Skamania County - population 12,083 (2019) - has tested 124 people. There were three positive test results for a 3.4 percent positive rate.

Wahkiakum County - population 4,426 (2018) - has tested 57 people. There were two positive test results and no deaths. That's a 3.5 percent positive rate.


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1 comment

  • Kathleen Keenan, Retired Superving Communicable Disease Investigator, San Diego County, HHSA, Public Health
    Kathleen Keenan, Retired Superving Communicable Disease Investigator, San Diego County, HHSA, Public Health Tuesday, 05 May 2020 18:42 Comment Link

    I believe you have misquoted the number of individuals testing in Jefferson County. You have quoted the numbers tested as 298 with 28 confirmed cases. As of May 5th...Jefferson County had tested 921 individuals, with 28 confirmed cases...which means 3.1 % of persons tested were confirmed cases. We have not had a positive test result since April 5th....versus the March 29. Also..if you use the 2018 population estimates...why not use the 2019 estimates. All the counties have 2019 estimates. Jefferson County population estimates for 2019 are 32,221

    Although you have quoted the state of Washington DOH website numbers...the above number are incorrect. There is always a lag in reports to the DOH and local county numbers are much more accurate.

    Also....the percent positive is not considered a ”rate” is considered a proportion.


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