Photos by Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing

Photos by Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing

Washington’s COVID-19 state of emergency to end Oct. 31

Gov. Jay Inslee announced the order will end nearly three years after he first issued it.

Staff reports

Gov. Jay Inslee has announced that all remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations and state of emergency will end by Oct. 31.

The announcement was made Sept. 8. According to the governor’s office, 85 total COVID-19 emergency orders have been lifted already. The Associated Press reports that an additional 13 health care related orders are set to end Oct. 27, including one that offered flexibility for locations where pharmacies could store vaccines.

Ten remaining orders, including the underlying emergency order and vaccination requirements for health care and education workers, will remain in place until the emergency order is lifted Oct. 31. These orders include most mask requirements as well as restrictions on restaurants and businesses, according to the AP.

Inslee originally issued the state of emergency on Feb. 29, 2020.

The governor’s office reports that the statewide face covering order issued by the state Department of Health will remain in place for health care and long-term care settings, as well as correctional facilities under certain circumstances after the state of emergency ends. The governor is also looking at options to ensure there are protections for workers who choose to wear a mask in their workplace, according to the office.

There have been more than 14,100 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 1.8 million cases of COVID-19 as of this week, according to the AP. More than 76% of the Washington population age 6 months and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 70% is fully vaccinated, and about 58% of those age 5 and older who are eligible for boosters have received one, according to the Department of Health.




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