The answer to that question remains with state and county public health officials, and on July 29, Governor Inslee extended the pause indefinitely on counties moving ahead in the Safe Start Washington plan. As of that date, Kenmore has had 113 people test positive for the virus, for a rate of 4.9 per 1,000 residents.
Under the governor’s phased reopening plan, King County is in Phase 2, which allows essential businesses, such as grocery stores, to reopen with some restrictions. Other businesses, such as the KCC community hall rental are restricted to gatherings of no more than 5 people.
It was hoped that King County would progress to Phase 3 by the end of July. Under Phase 3 gatherings of no more than 10 people would be allowed. Under that restriction, some KCC renters would be allowed. As an example Tina Bystrom’s Funk & Fit dance exercise group would be allowed as long as there are 10 or fewer participants.
For groups of 10 or more, such as parties, religious services, and receptions, the KCC hall would not be open for rentals until Phase 4, which it was hoped might be achieved by end of August or September. However, the recent surge in King County cases has put reopening plans on hold. King County daily new cases went from about 46 cases per day in mid June to averaging about 157 in July. The goal for Phase 2 was for daily new cases to be less than 39.
There are multiple other criteria for moving through the phases of reopening including disease activity, testing capacity, healthcare system capacity, case and contact tracking, and protection of high-risk people. The state Health Department considers the criteria as a whole, meaning meeting some goals might offset not meeting others.
With similar spikes in cases statewide, and on July 23, Gov. Jay Inslee announced tighter restrictions for some Phase 2 activities and businesses, including restaurants and bars, indoor fitness and entertainment facilities, and for weddings and funerals. As a result, plans for reopening the KCC hall for groups of 50 or more also remains on hold.