Seattle is ending its Covid emergency Oct. 31
Some of Seattle's emergency orders for the Covid pandemic will end after October 2022, some will phase out in the coming months, and others are being woven into how the city operates moving forward.
“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,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement.
“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."
Mayor Harrell announced Tuesday that the city will end its own civil emergency proclamation for Covid after Oct. 31. The city's timing matches Washington state's move to end emergency orders for the pandemic.
While the civil emergency proclamation and its orders officially end on Nov. 1, some changes made during the pandemic will remain.
Seattle will maintain its Covid vaccine requirement for its employees, volunteers, and contractors. While masks are not required at city properties, they will continue to be available.
Other emergency orders will end right away on Nov. 1, but the mayor's office says that some will be phased out.
For example, the city currently has a pandemic safeguard around commercial property and tenants. Property owners must allow payment plans for tenants who have struggled during the pandemic. Evictions are limited, and there are limits on tenants' personal liability. This emergency order will expire six months after Nov. 1, on May 1, 2023.
An order establishing higher pay for food delivery gig workers, however, will end right away on Nov. 1. This affects drivers for Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc.
While state and local pandemic emergency orders end, Covid continues. Gov. Jay Inslee's office recently noted that Washington is among the states with the lowest death rates.
As of Oct. 12, Washington state has an average of 92 Covid cases per 100,000 people. About 70% of all Washington residents have been fully vaccinated.
Focusing in on King County, there are about 79 cases per 100,000 people. Covid community level is considered low. Approximately 83% of eligible residents have completed an initial vaccine series, however, not many people are seeking out the new booster shot updated for the omicron variant.