On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the rollback to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 requirements will be put “on pause” for two weeks.

This means that all counties – including King County – for the next two weeks will stay in the current phase that they’re in of of May 4, 2021. Restaurants, bars, gyms and other businesses can continue at the current Phase 3 50 percent capacity requirement for now.

At the end of the two week pause, officials will evaluate the metrics and re-assess.

Inslee said that the decision was made in consultation with the Department of Health, and reflects current data suggesting Washington’s fourth wave has hit a plateau.

“This decision is based on the information that we’ve been able to analyze just in the last few days that has come in on a daily basis, and we’re responding to what we’ve learned with that most recent information,” Inslee said. “As we always have, and I think our flexibility throughout this pandemic is one of the reasons we’ve had a great deal of success that as this virus has thrown us curves, we have responded. It’s also worked because of the tremendous compliance we’ve had with our requirements for masking and social distancing and a great credit to this goes to the state of Washington.”

“But I’m sure all of us want to avoid a prolonged game of whack-a-mole with imposing and easing restrictions,” Jeffrey Duchin, MD, of Public Health–Seattle & King County, said. “Vaccination is the cure for mitigation measure Whack-a-mole. Vaccination is our ticket to a more stable and more normal life and lifestyle, and the more people that are vaccinated and the more quickly and more.”

The governor was joined by Umair Shah, MD, MPH, secretary, Department of Health, Jeffrey Duchin, MD, health officer, Public Health–Seattle & King County, and Nick Streuli, executive director for external affairs, Office of the Governor (Q&A).

Watch Inlee’s full press conference below: