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Clark County applies for Phase 3 reopening in Washington

Under Phase 3, gatherings of up to 50 people would be allowed, restaurants can expand seating capacity and movie theaters can reopen.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Clark County is preparing to take the next step to ease coronavirus restrictions on businesses and social life.

After receiving a recommendation from county health officer and Public Health director Alan Melnick earlier this week, the county applied Friday to move into Phase 3 of Washington’s four-phased reopening plan. Clark County entered Phase 2 on June 5, and since the county must spend at least three weeks in the second phase before potentially moving forward, Friday was the earliest the county could apply for Phase 3.

As part of the criteria to enter Phase 3, Clark County must show there are less than 25 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are flat or decreasing. There are currently 13.9 cases per 100,000 people and nine total hospitalizations, according to Clark County Public Health. They must also meet certain hospital capacity, testing capacity and positive test rate requirements. There must also be adequate staffing to investigate outbreaks and conduct effective contact tracing, as well as provide isolation and quarantine services for people who are homeless.

Click here for the criteria

If Clark County is approved for Phase 3, the following rules will be in place:

  • Gatherings up to 50 people.
  • Restaurants and taverns can open up to 75% capacity with table sizes no larger than 10 people.
  • Bar areas in restaurants and taverns can have up to 25% capacity.
  • Theaters can have up to 50% capacity.
  • Customer-facing government services can resume, although telework is still strongly encouraged.
  • Libraries can reopen
  • Museums can reopen
  • All other business activities not yet listed can reopen, except for nightclubs and events with greater than 50 people.
  • Outdoor group recreational sports activities can resume with 50 or fewer people
  • Recreational facilities, such as gyms and public pools, can have up to 50% capacity.
  • Non-essential travel can resume.
  • High-risk populations are strongly encouraged but not required to stay home unless engaging in activities that are permissible in Phase 1, 2 or 3.

RELATED: Here's what Phase 3 of Washington's reopening plan entails

In the meantime, the county will stay in Phase 2 while waiting for approval to move into Phase 3. Here’s what’s allowed under Phase 2:

  • Gather with no more than five people outside your household per week.
  • Remaining manufacturing businesses can reopen.
  • Additional construction phases can reopen.
  • In-home/domestic services, such as nannies and housecleaning, can resume.
  • Retail in-store purchase allowed with restrictions.
  • Real estate can resume.
  • Professional services/office-based businesses can reopen, although telework is still encouraged.
  • Personal services, such as hair and nail salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors can reopen.
  • Pet grooming businesses can resume.
  • Restaurants and taverns can reopen up to 50% capacity with table sizes no larger than 5 people. No bar-area seating is allowed.
  • Limited small group fitness is allowed.
  • Dine-in movie theaters can reopen.
  • Curbside pickup is available at libraries.
  • Outdoor recreation, such as camping or going to the beach, involving five or fewer people outside your household is allowed.
  • Essential travel and limited non-essential travel is allowed for activities that are permissible in Phase 1 or 2.
  • High-risk populations are strongly encouraged but not required to stay home unless engaging in activities that are permissible in Phase 1 or 2.

Click here for a list of business guidelines for Phases 1, 2 and 3

Regardless of which phase Clark County is in, people will be required to follow the state's new requirement on wearing face masks in public beginning Friday, June 26.

RELATED: Washington state requires face masks in public starting Friday

RELATED: Your questions about Washington's face mask requirement answered