Life at long-term care facilities in Washington will be getting closer to normal again.
On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee aligned long-term care visitation guidelines to match the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The change means fully vaccinated residents can meet with one another and participate in group activities without masks.
“This change reflects the continuing progression towards returning long term care facilities to a more normal state by allowing residents to have greater contact with their fellow residents, reducing the stark social isolation many have faced during the past year,” a release from Inslee’s office says.
While fully vaccinated people can enjoy more freedoms, there are still lots of Washington state residents who have yet to get vaccinated.
As of Monday, 41% of residents statewide have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the meantime, case rates and hospitalizations are still increasing.
Next week, Spokane County, along with Stevens County and likely a handful of others around the state, are likely to be moved back to Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan as a result of the rising cases.
On Friday, the Spokane Regional Health District confirmed 123 new cases and one additional death due to COVID-19.
In Spokane County, 612 residents have died due to COVID-19.
There are 83 patients hospitalized in the four Spokane hospitals, while there were 76 people hospitalized on Monday. Kootenai Health has 22 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.