State returns Walla Walla County’s Phase 3 application as uncertainty looms


WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman on Monday sent back Walla Walla County’s application for a modified Phase 3 reopening as the timeline for the state’s reopening plan grows increasingly uncertain.

The Walla Walla County Department of Community Health (DCH) said Weisman returned the application in part because of Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to halt all applications to advance to the next phase of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan until at least July 28.

Another factor that appears to have led to Weisman returning the application was the fact that, according to the DCH, coronavirus activity has increased in both Walla Walla County and across the state since the Phase 3 application was submitted on June 19.

“As such, Secretary Wiesman advised he is uncertain when the state will begin receiving applications for counties to advance in the state’s Safe Start plan
and that the application process may be modified,” local health officials said in a news release. “When the state determines the process for moving forward, they will communicate that information to county commissioners and the local health department. At that time, county officials will review the process and determine the next steps for Walla Walla County.”

For now, businesses must continue to comply with all Phase 2 health and safety requirements. Community members are encouraged to understand the guidelines as well.

Learn more about reopening and the statewide response to COVID-19 at