VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -- Nearly 70 community and business groups in Washington wrote a letter to Governor Jay Inslee asking for a pause on rolling back county re-opening phases, which would put more restrictions on businesses.
The state is evaluating each county’s COVID-19 metrics Monday.
"There was that sense of spring in Washington state that things are getting better, things are working," Anthony Anton, President and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association said.
For three weeks now, Washington businesses statewide have been in Phase 3, the least restrictive of Inslee's three phases of recovery, which allows for operation at 50 percent capacity.
But now it’s time to check in on how counties are doing with COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, and any county that fails to meet both metrics could move to Phase 2, which is 25 percent capacity.
"On the restaurant side it would be really tough, you just can’t make it work at that level," Anton said. "It's just a gut punch, it's taking the wind out of the sails of an industry who's just come off such a tough year. For those counties that would have to do it, it would be really tough."
It’s one reason they and nearly 70 organizations signed a letter to the governor asking for a three week pause on rolling back phases.
They argue the whole state should stay at 50 percent capacity.
Read the letter below.
"People need a safe regulated spot to be social and 50 percent provides that nice spot, it’s a spot where we can best beat the virus," Anton said.
Plus he said any county rollbacks would be a distraction in a time when the focus should be on vaccines, especially as all Washingtonians over 16 become eligible this week.
"Take this moment in time and bring us together, unite us, give the state a single focus," he said. Let's get everyone vaccinated and the best way to do that is to not distract us with some of the other things that’s going on."
Anton said they’re most worried about three counties potentially rolling back including Cowlitz.
On Friday, FOX 12 spoke with the public health officer for Clark and Cowlitz counties, and he said based on the metrics, it seems both counties will be able to stay in Phase 3 but he couldn’t say for sure.
The phase evaluation is happening Monday and any changes will go into effect Friday.