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Kitsap County has been notified by the Washington State Department of Health that its application to move to Phase 3 has been delayed and will be reevaluated on Thursday, July 9. Kitsap’s request to move to the next phase was submitted to the state on June 19.
Kitsap County has seen a significant uptick in cases over the past several weeks, including three recent outbreaks at long-term care facilities. The number of cases reported countywide in June was 78, while in May the total was 11.
“I know the news about the delay comes as a disappointment,” said Mayor Greg Wheeler. “Many anticipated opening this week, had hopes that Kitsap County had beaten back the virus, and that we would be getting back to normal soon.”
“We are facing a challenge that we never thought we’d encounter in our lifetimes. While Bremertonians and Kitsap residents took extraordinary steps to keep the virus in check over the past few months, we are not on a straight path to the finish line,” said Mayor Wheeler. “Our rising cases in the county show that the virus can rear up again very quickly. We can each do our part by taking responsibility upon ourselves to protect one another. The best and most effective methods at our disposal are to practice physical distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow good hygiene practices.”
As the July 4th weekend approaches, residents are asked to take special care and limit gatherings, stay six feet apart from others whenever possible, and wear a facial covering in indoor public areas and where physical distancing is difficult.
“As we wait to hear from the state on the reevaluation of Kitsap County’s application to move to Phase 3, I have faith that our citizens will work together and practice recommended health measures to protect friends, neighbors and loved ones.”