TACOMA, Wash. – On Monday, the state will review the metrics and announce which counties will roll back from Phase 3 to Phase 2.
To stay in Phase 3, larger counties must have fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period. When it comes to hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, they must have fewer than five new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents in a seven-day period. If a county does not meet either of the two metrics, its phase will be reversed.
Several counties in western Washington are already above that benchmark. In western Washington, Pierce, Cowlitz and Kittitas are above the threshold, according to state data.
According to state figures, Pierce County ranks at 238 per 100,000 residents, but data from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department puts it at 195.
KIRO 7 asked why the numbers don’t match.
“The state defines its metric, cases per 100,000 as confirmed and probable cases, and does not include a six-day delay,” said Cindan Gizzi, deputy director of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. “This is an open live dataset and cases often change residence. Within days of the investigation, we will discover that someone is a resident of a different county, so we will reassign that case to that county. “
With rates rising in Pierce County, both data sets make it seem likely that the county will regress to Phase 2.
The governor will announce which counties will roll back on Monday and the change will take place on Friday.
It will be three more weeks before the state re-evaluates the position of the counties. Gizzi would like it to happen sooner.
“We’d love for the state to reassess Pierce County in a week, two weeks, every week, so if we have to go back to Phase 2, we could quickly return to Phase 3 when we hit those metrics,” Gizzi said.
Public Health Seattle and King County reported 183 cases per 100,000 residents, but the state has them at 164. Data from the Snohomish County Health Department indicated that there are 121 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, while that the state lists them at 118.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases, it is possible that those counties could also be reversed.