Washington state’s COVID-19 state of emergency order ends Monday

Washington State’s COVID Emergency Order was originally announced on February 29, 2020.

SEATTLE – Remaining COVID-19 emergency orders, including a statewide state of emergency, end Monday, October 31 after more than two years.

Governor Jay Inslee announced last month an end date for the remaining emergency orders. Nearly 75% of Inslee’s 85 emergency orders were lifted before his announcement in September, and a further 13 health care-related orders ended last week. The status of the emergency order was originally declared on February 29, 2020.

“The end of this order does not mean we take it any less seriously or lose focus on how this virus has changed the way we live. We will continue our commitment to the well-being of the public, but simply through different tools that are now more relevant to the times we have entered,” Inslee said.

The emergency orders ending on Monday include:

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, the governor’s office said it is no longer an emergency thanks to the vaccination, medical treatment and mitigation efforts of Washingtonians.

“While we are grateful for the thousands of lives we have saved together, thousands of lives have also been lost, and many others have been changed forever,” Inslee said. “The past two and a half years have been one of the hardest years anyone can remember. Experiencing loss and suffering, we did not lose faith and did not abandon each other. Working together, we have saved countless thousands of lives.”

According to the governor’s office, the emergency orders have contributed to Washington state having one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the nation.

The state currently has the sixth lowest death rate in the nation, and all but two counties now have low levels of community transmission. Ferries and Pacific counties have moderate community transmission.

“Governor Inslee’s cancellation of these remaining emergency orders marks an important step forward for the state of Washington, but it does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer in our state,” said Health Secretary Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH said. “We must move from pandemic response to adapting our behaviors to coexist with the COVID-19 virus.”

The DOH masking order will continue in healthcare and long-term care facilities, as well as some correctional facilities. However, the DOH said it is actively reviewing and determining what scenarios it will continue to apply, and plans to issue another update in mid-November.

Certain workplace requirements will also be maintained. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to require all employers to meet certain safety standards including keeping employees who test positive or show symptoms at a distance from the workplace. at least five days, provide PPE for people who work with or near people with COVID, exposure notices, anti-discrimination rules against high-risk workers seeking fitness for COVID and defend the choice to wear a mask in the workplace.

During a briefing on Thursday, DOH officials said only 15% of people over the age of 12 had received the Bivalent booster as of October 24, which they called relevant.

The DOH said cases have been on a downward trend since mid-summer, but people need to prepare for another wave that could happen this winter.

You can find more information about the state’s current COVID-19 cases on the DOH website.

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https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/washington-state-covid-emergency-orders-end/281-c0d41b70-9d47-42a4-b7f7-1e1e5bf4f782 Washington state’s COVID-19 state of emergency order ends Monday

Edmund DeMarche

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