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Gov. Jay Inslee on March 11 introduced Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery plan that includes in-person spectators for professional and high school sports, increases indoor capacity to 50% and moves to a county-by-county evaluation process moving forward.

Most of the changes were set to start March 22, with some starting several days earlier. In all cases, social distancing guidelines apply and masks are required.

Here’s what’s allowed:

  • Up to 400 people can attend a single outdoor activity, with large venues capped at 25% or 9,000 people.
  • All indoor spaces — including stores, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters — can operate at 50% occupancy (but not more than 400 people).
  • Professional and high school sports are allowed to have spectators at 25% for the first time in a year. The change starts March 17 for high school sports and March 22 for professional sports. That includes motorsports, rodeos and other outdoor spectator sports.

New metrics

All counties will start in Phase 3 on March 22. Each will be individually evaluated every three weeks. Decisions will be made Mondays, starting April 12, with changes taking effect Friday. No more regional groupings, but the metrics change and smaller counties (Douglas and Okanogan counties) have different metrics than larger counties (Chelan and Grant counties)

Larger counties (more than 50,000 population) must have fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over 14 days and have fewer than five new COVID-19 hospitalizations over seven days to remain in Phase 3.

Smaller counties (less than 50,000 population) must average fewer than 30 new COVID-19 cases over 14 days and fewer than three new hospitalizations over seven days. Other metrics apply if counties drop to Phase 2 — or to Phase 1.

The Department of Health also can move a county forward or backward as needed.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151