When they met on Monday, Benton County commissioners said they are considering applying for Phase Two of Gov. Inslee's four phase re opening plan.

Benton and Franklin Counties are literally surrounded by others who've been 'approved' to re open many more types of business.

However, Benton and Franklin, with much larger populations, have not been able to meet the difficult criteria set forth by Gov. Inslee and his advisors.  The state has had to modify the requirements in the last week, giving B-F Counties some hope.

Now, a county cannot have more than 25 'new' cases per 100K of population for a two week period.  Previously the requirement was more stringent.  The reason for the modification, say legislators, is because Inslee and state officials realized most of the larger counties would never make it past Phase One, if ever.

A large amount of paperwork would have to be filed, the counties would have to show the state that they're prepared with enough hospital beds should there be a flare up, that they've got education etc. plans in place and testing and Contact Tracing capability to the state's liking.

No official word on when the counties will actually apply.

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