Walla Walla County deemed eligible for Phase 2 reopening; application under review

Walla Walla

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Walla Walla County may soon be given the go-ahead to move into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan.

On Tuesday, the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health (DCH) reported two new cases of COVID-19 — the first new cases detected since May 12 — bringing the county-wide total to 108. Only two people have died of virus complications and 95% of those who’ve tested positive have recovered.

According to a news release from health officials, “Walla Walla County submitted a variance request to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, on Thursday May 21st, 2020. At that time the County did not meet the disease activity criteria, thus the Department of Health (DOH) held our application until the criteria was met.”

“Over the weekend, the DCH updated information related to the County variance application and resubmitted it to the DOH. We heard back from the Secretary of Health, John Wiseman [Tuesday] morning and can confirm that Walla Walla County does now meet eligibility criteria and our application is under review.”

The review process is expected to take three to five businesses days. Business owners and community members are encouraged to prepare themselves for Phase 2. Criteria can be found on the governor’s office’s website. 

Under Phase 2, the following businesses may reopen:

  • Bars and restaurants for limited dine-in service
  • In-store retail
  • Barbers and hair salons
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Pet grooming