Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that all remaining COVID-19 emergency proclamations and the COVID-19 state of emergency will end by Oct. 31.
Though the state’s emergency orders are ending, public health leaders continue to emphasize the importance of vaccines and masks in keeping communities safe. Vaccines and therapeutic treatments are available to prevent hospitalizations and death. However, COVID-19 remains a threat, killing 300 Americans every day and more than 10 people a day in Washington state. In his announcement, the governor reiterated the importance of vaccinations and booster shots.
“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. “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.”
Washington was the first state in the U.S. with a reported case of COVID-19. Inslee was swift to enact protective measures that have since resulted in one of the lowest per capita death rates in the nation.
“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.