Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Oct 06, 2022

WASHINGTON: COVID-19 state of emergency to end October 31, 2022

COVID-19Safety and Health 

Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he will end Washington’s declared public health emergency (PHE) due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) on October 31, 2022. As he previously announced, 12 health care related orders will end on October 27. The remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations, including the state of emergency, will be rescinded at the end of the month.

Tips: The ending of the PHE will make the ongoing enforcement of the requirements in Washington’s Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) dependent on the continuing federal PHE. The HELSA requirements are in effect during any PHE that involves infections or contagious disease whether declared by the President of the United States or by the governor of the state of Washington. As we previously reported, requirements under HELSA include protections for high risk workers, reporting and notification for infections and contagious disease, allowance for voluntary use of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), and specific requirements for health care facilities. The federal PHE is authorized for 90 days at a time and is expected to be reauthorized on October 15, 2022. The Health and Human Services Secretary has committed to giving at least 60 days’ notice before ending the federal PHE. For guidance on current requirements in Washington, see our Legal Guide, At a Glance: COVID-19 Compliance in Washington; we will update it when the changes take effect.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.