3 Washington counties face tighter coronavirus restrictions

Starting Friday, Cowlitz, Pierce and Whitman counties will roll back to Phase 2 of the state’s economic reopening plan. That means decreasing capacity for indoor dining at restaurants, retail stores and gyms from 50% to 25%. Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings are also reduced. New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in those three counties exceeded criteria set by Gov. Jay Inslee to stay in Phase 3. The next evaluation of counties will be on May 3. Nearly 70 state business organizations last Friday urged the governor to delay for three weeks any decision to return any counties to the more restrictive standards.