Yakima County continues to operate under COVID-19 restrictions but they're easing Monday. Yakima County and all other counties in Washington state are advancing to Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan on Monday. So what does that mean? It means under Phase 3 indoor fitness center, retailers and restaurants can welcome more customers. Under the Phase 3 plan all those businesses can increase capacity from 25% to 50%. That means more tables open at restaurants, more people working out next to you in a fitness center and more customers in area businesses. All that means more money for small businesses, many of which have been near closure.
There's also good news for seniors and people who love live music. In Phase 3 graduations and concerts will be possible because 400 people are allowed to enjoy indoor or outdoor activities with masking and social distancing requirements in place.
The varying and sometimes confusing rules and restrictions have resulted in many restaurants closing. Just recently restaurants in eastern Washington were able to open at 25% capacity if certain rules are followed including measuring CO2 levels. But now those requirements have been dropped.
this spring more restaurant owners are hoping to increase capacity and increase business through the 2021 Yakima Valley Restaurant Week. The week has been announced even though the restrictions continue. The announcement was made on Facebook. 2021 Yakima Valley Restaurant Week will be held April 3 through April 17.

The Organizers say they're hoping for big crowds to support an industry that's been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. The week was originally designed in 2018 to introduce more people to more restaurants in Yakima and while that's still the intent this year it's also designed to give an extra boost to local restaurants hit hard by the virus.