Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrel announced Tuesday the city will end its coronavirus emergency proclamation at the end of October.
Harrell said in a statement that the city will lift its COVID-19 Civil Emergency Proclamation to align with Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to end the statewide state of emergency on Oct. 31. Inslee’s announcement came on Sept. 8.
“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,” Harrell said.
“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,” the mayor continued. “We will continue to follow the recommendations of public health experts and science leaders to support the safety and well-being of our communities.”
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Harrel lifted mask mandates and other COVID-19 precautions in city buildings earlier this year. Seattle will continue to enforce its vaccine mandate for employees.
Some systems and waivers implemented during the pandemic will end starting Nov. 1, but others will be gradually phased out.
Immediate changes will impact policies like restrictions on property evictions and tenant liability, as well as premium pay and paid sick time for food delivery drivers.
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Sick leave for transportation network drivers is enshrined in a new state law, according to the city.
Changes coming later include ‘Safe Street’ permits for outdoor dining and retail. This policy will expire on Jan. 31.
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Inslee issued the statewide emergency declaration on Feb. 29, 2020, after coronavirus cases began increasing and Washington reported the first COVID-19 death in the U.S.