Ferry County rolls back to Phase 2 due to outbreak

RaeLynn Ricarte
Staff Writer

The Northeast Tri County Health District announced Friday morning that Ferry County is immediately being moved back into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Roadmap to Recovery Plan. The basis of that decision made in consultation with the state Department of Health is the 77 new COVID cases tied to one super-spreader event in early April, said Matt Schanz, director of the health district. He said, although the county has not topped the 100 case metric to remain in Phase 3, the rapid climb of the virus tied to a dramatic increase in hospitalizations is necessitating the change in status.

“It’s really critical we curb that disease transmission,” said Schanz.

Dr. Sam Artzis, health officer for the district, said the outbreak, which is mostly centered in Republic, has caused the grocery store to reduce hours due to a staffing shortage and a bank has also had to bring in outside help. He said all but one restaurant is closed and public utilities and county officers are closed because of the crisis.

“Really, just by natural consequences of the disease, they’ve been in Phase 2 for over a week now,” said Artzis.

Under Phase 2, restaurants and other businesses can only be at 25% capacity and gathering sizes are limited.