I don’t think anyone could’ve missed the news, but on Thursday, May 13th, Governor Inslee made three big announcements:
- The entire state would be moving to “Phase 3” on May 18th. This means that most retailers, restaurants, and other customer facing businesses would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
- Washington State is fully adopting the CDC guidance on mask wearing, which means that the state is no longer mandating masks for fully vaccinated people, though private businesses may continue to require masks as they see fit.
- Based on projected vaccine progress, Washington State is planning to fully reopen on June 30th. This reopening date could be moved up if 70% of eligible population (16+) are fully vaccinated before then. Currently, about 60% of the eligible population has received their first dose, while 47% is fully vaccinated.
Being able to safely reopen at full capacity is something we’ve all been looking forward to and now we have a timeline to plan around. At the same time we continue to see more and more data about just how effective at saving lives and preventing serious cases. A recent example from the Cleveland Clinic finds that 99.75% of the 4,300 coronavirus patients admitted to hospitals since January were not fully vaccinated: https://www.cleveland.com/coronavirus/2021/05/cleveland-clinic-finds-997-of-caregivers-whove-recently-tested-positive-for-covid-19-werent-fully-vaccinated.html
Summer in Downtown Tacoma is always a special time with gatherings at restaurants, farmers market, and concerts. We are thrilled to be able to welcome people back to fully experience Downtown this summer. The businesses I’ve heard from that have been at reduced capacity for over a year are excited to see a light at the end of the tunnel with a specific date. The sheer joy about completely reopening and moving beyond day-to-day survival is very real. I cannot wait for people to see all the new businesses that have decided to open during the past year. To find the details on your favorite business downtown, or to find something new, please check out our business listings: https://downtowntacomapartnership.com/map/
It was encouraging to see Governor Inslee acknowledge the progress made on vaccinations to date while also continuing to urge all residents 16 and older to get their vaccines. If we can continue to make strong progress through mass vaccination sites like the Tacoma Dome as well as more targeted clinics, we have the potential to reopen even earlier. We know how effective the vaccines are and how they can end the pandemic sooner. Downtown Tacoma is ready to welcome everyone back as soon as it is safe to do so.
To find a location to get your vaccine any day of the week without an appointment, please visit: https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/diseases/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine-information Let’s get vaccinated and start our summer.