After 975 Days, Washington’s Governor Will Finally Relinquish His Emergency Pandemic Powers

Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington state’s COVID-19 emergency will finally come to an end on October 31.

For most Americans, COVID-19 long ago stopped being an immediate crisis and has become little more than a dull annoyance, a mundane part of everyday life to be ignored when possible and dealt with when necessary.

In Washington state, however, the pandemic will continue to be a literal emergency—for at least another seven weeks.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he will end the state’s COVID emergency declarations on October 31—a mere 975 days after the first emergency order was implemented on February 29, 2020. In the announcement, Inslee conceded that “we’ve come a long way in the past two years in developing the tools that allow us to adapt and live with COVID-19,” and admitted that the world has entered a new “era” of dealing with the disease.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, few governors have exercised as much broadunchecked power over schools, the economy, and individuals’ decisions as Inslee. According to the Seattle Times, the governor issued 85 emergency orders during the pandemic, 23 of which are still in effect. Inslee’s word was law when it came to everything from shutting down schools to banning evictions, from mandating masks in various settings to mandating vaccines for certain professions, and from ordering businesses to close to deciding when they could reopen. – READ MORE