OLYMPIA, Wash., August 14, 2022 – Governor Jay Inslee rescinds 13 COVID-19 proclamations under his emergency authority according to proclamations released on August 5 and signed on July 29. All the recensions take effect at 12:01 a.m. on October 27, 2022.
The recensions relate to Long-Term Care facility guidelines, and the reinstatement of various policies and statutes including non-urgent medical procedures, licensure requirements, Medicaid admittance eligibility, Family Emergency Assistance Program eligibility, and much more.
The justification to rescind the decrees according to the amended proclamations are the “recent advances in medicine” including COVID-19 boosters and antivirals. It also states that “health experts and epidemiological modeling experts believe that as a state we have made adequate progress against COVID-19 to rescind and/or modify amendatory proclamations related to specific health issues.”
Violators of the recension that take effect in late October may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.06.220(5).
On Thursday, August 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its K-12 guidance for schools to support safe in-person learning. Below are the latest updates:
- Removed the recommendation to cohort: The act of keeping groups of students together throughout the day to minimize contact with others.
- CDC no longer recommends routine screening testing in K-12 schools. Schools can consider screening testing to focus on high-risk activities during high COVID-19 Community Level or in response to an outbreak.
- Removed the recommendation to quarantine, except in high-risk congregate settings.
- Schools no longer need to implement “test-to-stay” policies. Students who have been exposed to the virus now fall under the same guidance as adults regardless of vaccination status.
- Added detailed information on when to wear a mask, managing cases and exposures, and responding to outbreaks
To view the Department of Health releases updated COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools & childcare, click here.
20-74.4: Behavioral Health Association, Children’s Long-Term Inpatient Program and Residential Treatment Facilities – Operations and Visitation
The recension terminates BHA-issued guidance requirements for the following Behavioral Health Administration facilities:
- State-operated adult psychiatric facilities including Western State Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, and the Child and Study Treatment Center – RCW 72.23.020, RCW 72.23.010(9).
- The Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island – RCW 71.09.020(19)
- The King County Secure Community Transition Facility – RCW 71.09.020(15)
- The Pierce County Secure Community Transition Facility on McNeil Island – RCW 71.09.020(15)
- The Fort Steilacoom Competency Restoration Program, Residential Treatment Facility – RCW 10.77
- Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program, Residential Treatment Facility – RCW 10.77 4
- Yakima Competency Restoration Program, Residential Treatment Facility – RCW 10.77 20-66.6 Long-Term Care – Operations and Visitation
Operations of the Children’s Long-Term Inpatient Programs (CLIP) facilities will no longer be required to comply with HCA-issued guidance documents and DOH-issued guidance documents for Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) also will no longer be required for operations starting October 27, 2022.
20-66.6 Long Term Care – Operations and Visitations
The proclamation restricting visitations to Long-Term Care facilities, according to the decree, was implemented with the intention to save lives of seniors in “congregate settings.”
“The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 appears to be higher in those members of our population who are 60 years of age and older and those with chronic health conditions; and …facility residents, staff, vendors, and visitors can introduce COVID-19 into the facility and start an outbreak or spread an existing outbreak into a new population,” stated in the initial proclamation.
The following facilities listed below are no longer required to comply with the guidance documents for (a) certified community residential services and support, (b) adult family homes, assisted living facilities & enhanced services facilities, and (c) nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, as of October 27, 2022:
- Intermediate Care Facilities – 42 CFR 483 subpart I and WAC 388-835, WAC 388-837
- State Operated Living Alternatives – RCW 71A.12
- Nursing Facilities – RCW 18.51 and RCW 74.42
- Assisted Living Facilities – RCW 18.20
- Adult Family Homes – RCW 70.128
- Enhanced Service Facilities – RCW 70.97
20-65.6 Long Term Care – Workers, Facilities, and Resources
The initial proclamation addressed various laws relating to Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities such as training requirements, staffing requirements, Medicaid admittance eligibility for individuals, etc. – see initial Proclamation 20-65 for details.
20-59.9 Department of Health – Temporary Practice Permits
The initial proclamation allowed the issuance of “a Temporary Practice Permit” authorizing workers in the healthcare industry “to practice the profession pending completion of documentation that the applicant meets the requirements for a license and is also not subject to denial of a license or issuance of a conditional license.”
The goal of the initial proclamation was “to prevent a shortage of licensed health care providers by modifying the eligibility for Temporary Practice Permits of recent graduates from professional programs in dentistry, pharmacy, and dental hygiene.”
Details of Proclamation 20-59 waived and suspended portions of the licensing and administrative statutes and rules relating to the issuance of Temporary Practice Permits (TPP) for healthcare workers who have recently graduated from professional health care programs.
Healthcare workers with a TPP in dentistry, pharmacy, and dental hygiene must meet the statutory requirements of their profession to practice as of October 27, 2022.
20-52.11 Statewide COVID Proclamations Relating to Long-Term Care
The policies and programs from the COVID Proclamations listed below are impacted as follows:
- Family Emergency Assistance Program will no longer be expanded to include individuals and families without children
- Removal of visitation restrictions and prohibitions to Long-Term Care facilities – see 20-16 and 20-17 for details
- Addresses various laws relating to Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities such as training requirements, staffing requirements, and Medicaid admittance eligibility for individuals – see 20-10 for details
- Removal of visitation and resident isolation restrictions and visitation logs can be destroyed after 30 days for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities – see 20-06 for details.
20-36.11 Department of Health – Health Care Facilities and Hand Sanitizer
The policies and businesses listed below are impacted as follows:
- Person practicing pharmacy or institute or operate any pharmacy must again be licensed
- Shopkeepers will no longer be considered a licensed pharmacist
- Manufactures of drugs will again have to pay licensure fees
- Medical facilities will once again be required to notify the Department of Health of adverse health events and medical errors within 48 hours and submit a report within 45 days of the event
- Reestablishing licensure requirements to operate a hospital within Washington state
20-32.12 Department of Health– Health Care Workers
According to the latest sequence, 20-32.12, Proclamation 20.32 is terminated and rescinded. As of 12:01 A.M. on October 27, 2022, the reinstatement of all healthcare worker licensing requirements goes into effect.
20-24.4 Restrictions on Non-Urgent Medical Procedures
According to the latest sequence, 20-24.4, Proclamation 20-24 is terminated and rescinded. As of 12:01 A.M. on October 27, 2022, health care services, procedures, and surgeries for all non-urgent medical procedures are reinstated in all hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, dental, orthodontic and endodontic offices throughout Washington state.