CORONAVIRUS: City to join state in ending ’emergency’ after this month

When this month ends in three weeks, so will the status of the COVID-19 pandemic as a City of Seattle emergency. Here’s the announcement from the mayor’s office this afternoon, including an explanation of how it will affect some policies:

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.

21 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: City to join state in ending 'emergency' after this month"

  • 937 October 11, 2022 (4:23 pm)


  • Erithan October 11, 2022 (4:41 pm)

    I’m actually extremely sad to be losing the benefits. For food stamps it made a HUGE difference and was a lot of help to those who are low income, especially with rising costs.Now instead of having enough to actually get food, myself and others will only get our normal. Which for many like me is only 16$. :(I wish there was something that could be done state level to help people.

    • anonyme October 13, 2022 (5:55 am)

      Erithan, this is a real concern, especially at this time of inflation when food prices have increased 10% or more.  For many seniors and disabled folk, the upcoming COLA increase will actually put millions of people further in the hole financially, as they will lose many benefits due to the increase – including SNAP, which does not increase income limits to coincide with SSA COLA.  IMO, they should all be linked.  For many, especially those who can least afford it, this will mean a net loss in income despite a historically high COLA. While I agree that many of the PHE benefits were a financial boon to many who did not need them, low-income people are about to take a big hit. 

      • Erithan October 14, 2022 (1:13 am)

        It truly is frustrating and saddening how the system is. I agree it should all be together, and based on local costs with how much it varies from state to state. The other thing is CoLA is invalidated if you’re in low income housing for example. It’s based of a flat 30% of what you get from ssi/ssdi. So any boost is negated by a rent increase. :(The system really needs an overhaul. It was such a night and day difference getting more each month, and with the costs going up so much more now I am worried for many. 😔 

  • Question Authority October 11, 2022 (4:43 pm)

    So utterly typical of the City to phase out certain aspects of the Proclamation while others drag on, the “end” needs to be it, and done.  It’s as if everyone gets a medal for participating but only so many reach the podium.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes October 11, 2022 (8:11 pm)

      Why does the “end” need to be it? Do you personally have to administer these phase outs?

      Of course, no analysis about the phase outs from you, just useless grandstanding with nothing added.

      • Question Authority October 11, 2022 (9:30 pm)

        Sounds like you might work for the Government and only want to manage a bit of rollout at a time, maybe knowing this was eventually coming some better preparation could’ve happened?

  • Brian October 11, 2022 (8:24 pm)

    The fun thing about a pandemic is that we can just claim it’s over and pretend it’s not a problem anymore. Super cool stuff. 

    • Wseattleite October 11, 2022 (9:53 pm)

      Yup.  Anything that begins by being “declared”, typically ends by being “declared”.  Or “claimed” as you put it. That does not mean impacts go away. Nor does it mean there were impacts to begin with. It is a tool that is used for a number of reasons, some for the good of society, and some for personal and barely related agendas. Great to see the great excuse going away.   At this point, the lack of an “emergency” will hurt the weird and  inappropriate agendas more than the good to society by a huge margin. 

      • shotinthefoot October 12, 2022 (9:46 am)

        “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!” ~ Michael Scott, The Office 

  • Vee October 11, 2022 (9:28 pm)

    Does this mean health care settings wont be required to wear masks also, they were included in emergency order that’s ending October 31

    • Mary October 13, 2022 (9:52 am)

      Masks are still required in healthcare settings including mental health care settings. 

  • Common Sense October 11, 2022 (9:57 pm)

    Why continue with the vaccine mandates?  It’s very clear that the vaccine does not stop you from getting or spreading covid; only reduces symptoms.  For a city that values inclusion we are excluding many needed and talented workers. 

  • Rhonda October 11, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    The vaccine mandate needs to end. All State and City employees who chose not to take the vaccines and were terminated for it need to be reinstated, ASAP, with retroactive pay.

    • helpermonkey October 12, 2022 (1:57 pm)

      LOL no. They made their choices to go out and endanger the community because they didn’t believe in science. They don’t get to come back to “protect and serve” with back pay. 

  • Mike October 12, 2022 (6:46 am)

    If only the pandemic were *REALLY* over. But we’ve still got hundreds of Americans dying of COVID every day. This is politics over science, unfortunately.

  • Mj October 12, 2022 (9:26 am)

    The order should have ended long ago, at a minimum after the vaccine was approved (with some time to administer) for young kids.  

  • uncle loco October 12, 2022 (7:04 pm)

    Longest 2 weeks ever…

  • Kman October 15, 2022 (1:43 pm)

    Just in time for the winter surge in cases and deaths they are all predicting. Yay!

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