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Governor announces new re-opening plan, construction remains open

January 6, 2021

The governor announced a new “Health Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan today. The plan largely continues current COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. The plan goes into effect Jan. 11.


This new plan makes no changes to the construction industry. Construction remains open statewide. And, for the foreseeable future, we must continue to follow the COVID-19 jobsite requirements established last year.

New phases

The new “Healthy Washington” plan abandons the four-phase approach implemented last year. It begins fresh with two phases at this point:

  • Phase 1 continues the restrictions in place at this time, with some minor alteration; and
  • Phase 2 allows restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses with indoor activities to reopen with a cap at 25% capacity. It also allows sporting events to resume with limited capacity and increases the capacity for weddings and funerals.

At this time, the entire state is in Phase 1 of the new plan. The governor promised to announce additional phases in the future. However, he gave no timeline for when those plans will be released.

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New regions

The new approach groups counties into eight regions:

  • Central: King, Pierce, Snohomish
  • East: Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman
  • North: Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom
  • North Central: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan
  • Northwest: Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason
  • South Central: Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima
  • Southwest: Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum
  • West: Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston

Criteria for reopening

According to the governor’s plan, regions may move to the next phase when they meet the following metrics. These metrics will be reviewed on a weekly basis by the Washington State Department of Health:

  • Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population (decrease >10%)
  • Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population (decrease >10%)
  • ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
  • COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%

As our state begins this new recovery plan, all of us in the construction industry must continue to remain vigilant and proactive in following the safety requirements for your jobsites and businesses. Please continue to do your part to keep your jobsites, employees and community safe so that construction can remain open and lead the state’s economy to recovery.

We will share additional information as it becomes available.


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