Gov. Jay Inslee last week announced his latest COVID-19 phased recovery plan, “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery,” which went into effect Monday.

Based on the current plan, the state will now follow a “regional recovery approach,” with every region beginning in Phase 1, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“No one was untouched by the effects of the pandemic in 2020; many have and continue to suffer through no fault of their own,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “We aren’t out of this yet, but we are close to turning the corner on COVID-19 and this third wave of infection.”

According to the press release, the new recovery system “aims to safely ease some restrictions while also maintaining crucial hospital capacity...”

The eight regions in the plan are based on Emergency Medical Services regions used for evaluating healthcare services. The counties were divided according to available health care services based on metrics such as hospitalizations, case data and disease mobility.

The eight regions are as follows:

Puget Sound: 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

A region’s phase will be determined by the Department of Health, and to advance each region must meet criteria set by DOH. The metrics for each region will be updated on the Risk Assessment Dashboard every Friday. Dependent on a region’s metrics, DOH will move into a new phase — forward or backward — the following Monday.

“Our intent is to ensure that regions, the communities within them, and our state as whole have a balanced path toward recovery from the pandemic that relies on multiple key metrics that look at disease trajectory and health system capacity” Deputy Secretary for COVID Response Lacy Fehrenbach said last week. “This plan offers the start of clear way forward as we continue to slow the spread of COVID-19, while we get more people vaccinated over the next few months.”

According to the governor’s office, Phase 1 mostly aligns with previous restrictions, with a few key exceptions. Indoor fitness and outdoor entertainment, for example, were both previously prohibited, but will now be permitted with restrictions.

According to the governor’s press release, health officials believe the state can safely allow appointment-based fitness and training where there is no more than one customer per room or 500 square feet for large facilities. Masks and physical distancing are required.

Other outdoor entertainment allowed to reopen in Phase 1 include zoos, outdoor theaters and concert venues and rodeos, among other outdoor venues. Operation must be by ticketed event only with groups of 10 maximum with a limit of two households. Timed ticketing is required, as well as facial coverings and physical distancing.

Indoor gatherings and indoor dining remain prohibited. Outdoor dining with a maximum of six and limit for two households per table is permitted with an 11 p.m. close.

Retail, worship services, personal services and professional services — where remote work isn’t available — are limited to 25 percent capacity.

To see more about the latest guidelines, go to