Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the rescission of 12 proclamations under his COVID-19 emergency authority that are no longer needed to respond to the pandemic. All relate to certain health care facilities, including hospitals, long term care facilities, and health care professionals.
These emergency orders waived and suspended various statutes and rules, and prohibited certain activities, in order to provide the flexibility needed to respond to the pandemic and protect those receiving care. Examples of suspended statutory requirements include those related to training, testing and certification of various health care professionals and the certificate of need process for health care facilities.
The rescissions apply to Proclamations 20-52 (which incorporates 20-06, 20-10, 20-16, 20-17, and 20-18), 20-24, 20-32, 20-36, 20-59, 20-65, 20-66 and 20-74.
To ensure providers and facilities have time to achieve a smooth transition to pre-COVID statutory requirements, the rescission of these orders will become effective in 90 days, on October 27. In support of this transition, the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services have worked diligently to create a glidepath for these health care facilities and professionals. The Department of Health will provide technical assistance to all facilities as they return to full regulatory compliance. DSHS will provide additional technical assistance support for long term care facilities.
In addition, to support the health care system as it addresses certain non-COVID challenges, the state is providing approximately $22 million to maintain contracted health care staff statewide and to support patients transitioning to community-based services. Some of those funds will be used to support Harborview Medical Center in its efforts to secure community-based care for patients with complex medical and behavioral needs.
The governor had previously rescinded about 75% of all COVID-19 emergency orders. When these 12 healthcare-related emergency orders are terminated, approximately 87% of all COVID emergency proclamations will have been rescinded. COVID-19 remains a state and federal public health emergency and known workplace hazard.