Virus is taking big toll on farm county  in Washington state (copy)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee removes his mask as he stands at a distance and talks about the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference at Yakima Valley College Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Yakima, Wash. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Saturday that a recent increase in coronavirus numbers means counties won't be able to move to the fourth phase of his reopening plan for now.

Inslee and state Secretary of Health John Weisman made the announcement Saturday.

“Rising cases across the state and concerns about the spread of the COVID virus have made Phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at this time,” the governor's office wrote in a prepared statement.

Before Saturday, eight counties were eligible to move from the third to the fourth phase of the reopening plan. To qualify, counties had to show that they had declining infection levels, enough personal protective equipment, testing and hospital capacity and a contact tracing system.

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