Four months since advancing to Phase 2, Spokane Co. still far off from Phase 3

SPOKANE, Wash.–It’s been four months since Spokane moved into Phase 2, and Phase 3 doesn’t appear to be in the near future.

123 days later, many people and a lot of local businesses are hoping to be much further in this reopening plan.

That covid-fatigue is something we’re all feeling, and it’s a concern for Spokane’s top health officer.

“Just the fatigue of people really continuing to do this for months,” Dr. Bob Lutz said.

Andy Prado, a father of four living in Spokane, is one person feeling those frustrations right now.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Prado said. “When you live it everyday, you almost just kind of get used to it I guess, but just the daily grind of all the extra things we have to do.”

He said he wears a mask in public and stays a safe distance from others. But like everyone else, he wants to move forward.

READ: What will it take to advance? Spokane approaching four months in phase 2

So, he reached out directly to the Spokane Regional Health District to ask what it will take to move to Phase 3.

Here’s what they told him and 4 News Now.

The state’s benchmark to move on is 25 cases per 100,000 people.

Right now, Spokane is at 98.

The county is averaging about 35 cases per day for the last two weeks, and that needs to drop to 9 cases per day to have a chance at Phase 3.

As flu season nears, that may be difficult to reach.

The goal for schools is different.

The state recommends in-person classes at 75 cases per capita. Spokane needs about 26 cases per day to get there.

Spokane Regional health told us there are many other factors that will decide how the county moves forward.

Hospital capacity matters and that is in good shape across the county right now.

20 people were hospitalized with the virus last week, which is half what it was in the last week of July.

COVID-19 deaths have fluctuated in Spokane over the last few weeks. Six more deaths were reported Tuesday, marking a total of 159 since April.

They’re also hoping more people can cooperate with contact tracing as that helps contain any outbreaks or cluster of cases.

The Health District said testing has improved, but the latest data from the Department of Health only has information from the last week of August.