Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced that the City of Seattle is preparing for the next chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic and plans to officially end its Civil Emergency Proclamation after 10/31/22. This change aligns with Washington state and Governor Inslee’s decision to end the statewide state of emergency the same date.
“Our city has been working under an emergency proclamation for nearly 1,000 days as we responded to a new pandemic and unprecedented resulting challenges,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “While the impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt by our neighbors and communities, it is thanks to our city’s strong response – including our high vaccination rate and strong healthcare system – that we can continue moving toward recovery and revitalization. We will continue to follow the recommendations of public health experts and science leaders to support the safety and well-being of our communities.”
Starting November 1, some of the temporary systems and waivers that were implemented during the pandemic will be removed and others will be phased out over time. City departments are informing stakeholders of upcoming changes, collaborating with labor partners, and working to identify any temporary measures that should be made permanent.
Examples of policies/programs impacted by this change:
Commercial Renters: Requirement for property owners to negotiate payment plans to limit evictions and limits on commercial tenant personal liability will expire six months after the end of the emergency proclamation.
Food Delivery: Premium pay for food delivery network gig workers established by ordinance will end November 1, 2022.
Sick Leave: Paid sick time for food delivery and transportation network gig workers will end six months after the end of the emergency proclamation. Starting January 1, 2023, transportation network drivers will be entitled to sick leave under a new state law.
Examples of policies/programs not impacted by this change:
Street Cafes: Temporary Safe Street Permits for outdoor dining, retail, and more were previously extended and currently expire January 31, 2023
Vaccines and Masks: The City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees, volunteers, and contractors will remain in effect. Masks will continue be available at City worksites and may be worn by employees or visitors but are not required.
The City is currently reviewing policies related to Design Review and Historical Review to identify improvements which should be made permanent.
The City will remain vigilant for future waves and variants and will continue to share information, update contingency plans, and partner closely with federal, state, and local health experts. Find more information on COVID-19 including how to get the latest booster at Public Health – Seattle & King County.