**Updated: 11:45 a.m.**

A variance request by Chelan and Douglas Counties to move to a modified Phase 2 was submitted to the Governor's office Wednesday.

Health District Administrator Barry Kling says they have already heard from Secretary John Wiesman.

"We received a response from the Secretary of Health indicating that they didn't consider it at this point because it didn't qualify for a variance under the rules they had suggested already. That variance process was for counties with no recent cases and we've had a lot of recent cases."

But, Kling says all is not totally lost.

"He did say that they're going to be trying to produce some guidance soon on ways that some additional re-openings can occur even before Phase 2 is fully introduced. There was some element of hope in that."

[original story]

Chelan and Douglas County Commissioners submitted their request to the Governor's office for a variance to move to a modified version of Phase 2 of the reopening process calling it Phase 1.5.

In the letter, the officials say they are looking to, "create a locally-developed approach … in an effort to develop reasonable, pragmatic approaches to balance the health and economy of our community in a timely manner."

The move has the support of county and city officials, law enforcement, the health district and area churches.

The Governor previously approved eight counties to move to Phase 2, but no one has been approved or denied for a partial implementation of the next step.

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