Inslee Announces End of Remaining COVID-19 Emergency Orders and State of Emergency by October 31
Governor Jay Inslee today announced the upcoming rescission of all remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations and the state of emergency by October 31.
Nearly three-quarters of the governor’s 85 emergency COVID-19 orders have already been lifted, and another 13 health care-related orders will expire Oct. 27. The remaining 10 orders will be lifted on October 31, including the underlying state of emergency. .
“We’ve come a long way in the past two years in developing the tools that allow us to adapt and live with COVID-19,” Inslee said. “Ending this order does not mean we take it any less seriously or lose sight of how this virus has changed the way we live. We will continue our commitments for the well-being of the population, but simply through different tools now more adapted to the era in which we have entered.
Although state emergency orders are winding down, public health officials continue to stress the importance of vaccines and masks in keeping communities safe. Vaccines and therapeutic treatments are available to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. However, COVID-19 remains one of the deadliest infectious viruses in the United States. The virus kills more than 300 people nationwide every day, including more than 10 people a day in Washington state.
“Governor Inslee’s reversal of these remaining emergency orders marks an important transition for Washington State, but it does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer in our state,” the Secretary said at Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “We need to move from responding to the pandemic to adapting our behaviors to coexist with the COVID-19 virus. Thanks to the continued diligence of Washingtonians, combined with access to resources like Say Yes! COVID Testing Program, WA Notify and Care-A-Van, we will continue our path to recovery.
Washington was the first state in the United States to report a case of COVID-19. Inslee was quick to enact protective measures that have since resulted in one of the lowest per capita death rates in the country. If the rest of the nation had the same death rate as Washington, some 433,000 lives would have been saved. Inslee was invited to testify before Congress in January to discuss Washington’s science response, including the importance of addressing the mental and psychological toll of the pandemic.
Washington lawmakers also approved significant relief measures to help businesses and households deal with the financial impacts of the pandemic, including expanded unemployment benefits, rent assistance, a moratorium on evictions, relief utilities and numerous grant and small business assistance programs.
The statewide face-covering order issued by the state Department of Health will remain in place for health care and long-term care, as well as correctional facilities under certain circumstances. after the end of the state of emergency. The governor is also looking at options to ensure there are protections for workers who choose to wear a mask in the workplace.
Vaccination requirements for healthcare and education workers will end, but employers will still be able to require them if they wish. Inslee has previously announced that COVID-19 vaccination will remain a condition of employment for most Washington state agencies.
“I cannot express enough how grateful I am to all the healthcare workers, public health teams and other frontline workers who have helped save thousands of lives over the past two years and will continue. to help our communities stay safe and healthy. “, Inslee said.