The Downtown Spokane Partnership Board voted Wednesday to support Mayor Nadine Woodward in a request to Governor Jay Inslee that he refrain from moving Spokane’s region back to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington Reopening Plan, and allow the county time to execute an aggressive vaccination campaign.

“The stance of the Mayor and Regional Health Directors, to delay reverting to Phase 2, is both reasonable and safe,” said DSP President and CEO Mark Richard, “while also recognizing the absolute need for our employees to care for their families by returning to gainful employment.”

Since moving into Phase 3 in March, downtown businesses, some of which had been shuttered for a year, were finally able to meet occupancy levels achievable to reopen their doors. The DSP Board expressed concern of the detrimental effects to these businesses should they again have to face the tighter restrictions mandated in Phase 2.

“The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance,” said Richard. “At the same time, we are urging the Governor to acknowledge that a crucial aspect of a community’s well-being is maintaining a viable economy. We feel remaining in Phase 3 and being able to take action to increase Spokane’s vaccination rate is the best course of action at this juncture.”