Inslee: All counties to remain in current COVID phases

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that all counties will remain in their current phase of the Healthy Washington Recovery Plan for two more weeks as health officials evaluate shifting COVID-19 trends.

Kitsap County remains in Phase 3.

Inslee said the decision to pause phases was prompted by signs of a statewide plateau in COVID activity, which had been surging this spring.

Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Gib Morrow said the pause gives Kitsap residents an opportunity to drive down case rates by getting vaccinated, wearing masks, social distancing and keeping groups small.

Morrow noted that vaccination is helping slow the spread of COVID among older residents, who are now widely immunized.

“We need more adults of all ages to get vaccinated and keep taking precautions so we can beat this pandemic and move our county forward,” he said.

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance executive director Joe Morrison agreed keeping residents healthy will keep businesses thriving.

“We’re all tired and looking forward to the day when COVID is over — but it isn’t over yet,” he said. Getting the vaccine and following other coronavirus protocols “will allow us to continue reopening our economy and help our local community.”