NCW — The metrics look good for the North Central Region to stay in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Roadmap to Recovery plan.

The region must continue to pass at least three of four metrics to remain Phase 2 or will it fall back to Phase 1. The state Department of Health releases updated metrics every two weeks, so an announcement will come Friday. The North Central Region includes Grant, Okanogan, Chelan and Douglas counties.

The four metrics include:

  • A decreasing or flat trend in the 14-day rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
  • A decrease or flat trend in the rate of people hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • The seven-day percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive must remain less than 10%.
  • The seven-day percentage of intensive care unit beds use must be less than 90%, which is not COVID-19 specific.

The rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period decreased this last week in all four counties, according to information from each county’s health district. The numbers were:

  • Chelan: 211.1 as of Thursday
  • Douglas County: 172.7 as of Thursday
  • Okanogan: 96 as of Wednesday
  • Grant County: 371 as of Tuesday

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Chelan and Douglas counties has increased from about nine last week to 11 this last week, according to the Chelan-Douglas Health District website. Grant County has 15 people hospitalized, according to the Grant County Health District’s website. Okanogan County’s website did not say how many people were hospitalized.

The number of COVID-19 cases coming back positive also continues to drop in Chelan and Douglas counties, according to health district data. It is now at 6% between Feb. 8 to Feb. 14 and it was at 9% between Jan. 25 to Jan. 31. Grant and Okanogan counties did not provide this data.

The health districts do not provide information on intensive care unit capacity.

Another sign of improving COVID-19 numbers, but not part of the metrics, is the number of people in long-term care centers testing positive for the virus in Chelan and Douglas counties. No new residents and one staff member are reported to have COVID-19 between Feb. 2 to Feb. 15.

Between Jan. 12 to Jan. 25, both counties had 24 residents test positive for COVID-19 in long-term care centers and 11 employees, according to health district data

Residents in long-term care centers have been one of the earliest populations to receive the vaccine against COVID-19.