After more than two and half years, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has announced that he will be ending the COVID-19 state of emergency, effective October 31, 2022. When that occurs, all remaining state COVID-19 emergency proclamations will end as well.
Even after the state of emergency is lifted, the Department of Health’s statewide Face Covering Order will remain in place for health care and long-term care settings, as well as correctional facilities in some circumstances. Governor Inslee indicated he will seek to keep in place protections for workers who choose to wear a mask in their workplace, but he will presumably need the Legislature to pass that legislation. Washington State’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements for health care and education workers will end when the state of emergency is lifted. Employers may choose to maintain their own employee vaccination requirements, but should consult with counsel about the related legal issues.
If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.