Washington's COVID-19 state of emergency ends Monday

Washington state's COVID-19 state of emergency and remaining emergency proclamations will end Oct. 31.

Inslee announced in September that 10 emergency orders—including the initial state of emergency—will be rescinded on Oct. 31. Other orders include statewide school closures, the early pandemic stay-home order, contact tracing, travel restrictions, the vaccine mandate and others. Around three-quarters of Inslee's COVID-19 emergency orders have been lifted already.

With that announcement, a definitive end point has finally been put on Washington's COVID-19 response.

"We’ve come a long way the past two years in developing the tools that allow us to adapt and live with COVID-19," said Inslee. "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."

The first ever COVID-19 infection in the U.S. was first reported in Snohomish County on Jan. 21, 2020. Inslee issued the state of emergency on Feb. 29, 2020, which led to further orders aimed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It has been a long two years of mandates for Washington, which has maintained one of the lowest COVID infection rates and death rates in the U.S. The state also ranks among the highest vaccination rates in the country, according to data from the New York Times.

"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," said Inslee.

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Washington’s success can be attributed to widespread vaccinations and strict guidelines.

By the time the state of emergency ends on Oct. 31, it will have lasted two years, eight months and two days.