Washington State is poised to say goodbye to remaining COVID emergency orders.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced this week that he is ending the remaining Washington COVID emergency orders and state of emergency by October 31. Read on to get all the details about what this means.
Inslee originally put 85 emergency orders into place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of those orders have already been lifted. There are 13 healthcare-related orders that will end on October 27 and 10 more remaining orders that will end on October 31.
“We’ve come a long way the past two years in developing the tools that allow us to adapt and live with COVID-19,” Inslee said on Thursday during a news conference. “Ending this order does not mean we take it less seriously or will lose focus on how this virus has changed the way we live. We will continue our commitments to the public’s well-being, but simply through different tools that are now more appropriate for the era we’ve entered.”
One order that will remain in place is the statewide face covering order for health care workers, long-term care settings, and correctional facilities. Also, COVID-19 vaccination will remain a condition of employment for most Washington state agencies. Vaccine requirements are no longer in place for healthcare and education workers (employees retain the right to require them if they choose though).
“I can’t express enough how grateful I am for all the health care workers, public health teams, and other frontline workers who have helped save thousands of lives during the past two years and will continue to support our communities in staying safe and healthy,” Inslee said.
The governor and public health leaders still urge the public to rely on masks and vaccines to limit the continued spread of COVID-19. The public is encouraged to get an omicron-specific COVID booster this fall; to find an appointment near you, visit the Washington state vaccine locator.
For more information, you can visit the governor’s website.