State returns Phase 3 application to Kitsap, six other counties

All counties that had pending applications to move on to the next phase of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start” reopening plan will likely have to resubmit their applications once the statewide pause has ended.

State Secretary of Health Jonathan Wiesman said Monday that he is returning all Safe Start applications to counties that were in limbo on July 2 when the pause on moving forward to a new phase was instituted.

Wiesman said in an announcement that applications will be several weeks old by the time the statewide pause is up on July 28 — assuming the governor chooses not to extend it again.

Kitsap is one of seven counties that were waiting for the final word from the state, all of which were trying to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. The others were Clark, Cowlitz, Jefferson, Klickitat, San Juan and Walla Walla.

As of Monday, Kitsap had confirmed 140 COVID-19 cases in July, as the positive percent test rate has risen slightly to 2.5 percent. Five counties in Washington remain in a modified Phase 1.

“It remains critical that everyone continues to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Wiesman said. “Wear a face covering in any public setting or place where you can’t keep at least 6 feet of distance from people who are not members of your immediate household. In addition, stay home as much as possible, limit the number of people that you interact with, wash your hands and cover your coughs and sneezes.”