Northeast Tri County Health says area is acceptable to go into Phase 3 despite 10th positive case in Stevens County

Staff Writer

The Northeast Tri County Health District answered questions about how Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille Counties will move forward into Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee's reopening plan today, with Stevens County's 10th positive COVID-19 case was reported yesterday, after going nearly a month without a positive case.

The NETCHD said in a press release that the testing capacity, availability of tests, health care system readiness, protection of vulnerable populations, disease activity and case investigations are the areas that will be evaluated in order to move forward, as outlined in Inslee's plan. It said that using those metrics, the NETCHD is within acceptable levels to request advancement to Phase 3 once the counties have completed the minimum of three weeks in Phase 2, which began on May 11. It also said that if the counties aren't able to limit expose and prevent continued spread of the virus, the advancement into Phase 3 could be paused.

The NETCHD laid out precautions to take to ensure the tri county area is able to progress into Phase 3 and reopen more businesses. Those precautions are: when around others — practice social distancing, wear a cloth face covering in public, stay home and away from others if you are sick and avoid travel or visitation of individuals traveling to and from out of the area. When someone is tested to confirm positive with COVID-19, the NETCHD is contacting anyone who has been within 6-feet of them for 10 minutes or more while they were infectious.