Washington State Lifts COVID-19 Emergency Orders

Washington State Lifts COVID-19 Emergency Orders

Even though the emergency orders ended last week, employers should not stop protecting their workers from COVID-19.

Last week on November 1, 2022, Washington state’s COVID-19 emergency orders were lifted. But that doesn’t mean precautions should end.

A news release published a few days before the lift from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries tells employers to continue taking precautions to protect their workers from this virus.

There are still general safety requirements employers in Washington state must abide by. According to the news release,

  • Places of work should still be assessed, and employers should take action to keep workers safe from COVID-19 based on the findings.
  • If a worker tests positive, under Washington State Department of Health guidance, they should not return to work for a minimum of five days.
  • If an employee works with or cares for others who may have COVID-19, respirators should be used.

Workers in healthcare, long-term care and some correctional facilities must continue to follow the state’s masking order, according to a news release from Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

“I can’t express how grateful I am to the health care workers, public health teams and other frontline workers who helped save so many lives and will continue keeping our communities safe and healthy,” Inslee said in the news release.

“Ending this order does not mean we take the pandemic 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,” he continued.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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