The Chelan-Douglas Board of Health has voted to end the state of emergency regarding COVID-19 that has been in place in Chelan and Douglas Counties since the pandemic's onset three years ago. The official rescinding of the emergency will take place on May 11, coinciding with the end of the federally declared COVID-19 emergency.
This decision will halt the heavy mobilization and spending on health education, vaccines, and other programs that flooded local health agencies. The withdrawal of the emergency declaration, originally passed on March 16, 2020, removes certain powers and spending authority granted to the Chelan-Douglas Health District's administrator and its chief health officer.
Some board members argued that the local emergency should be concluded earlier than May 11, while others expressed concerns about potential financial downsides if the emergency is ended early. The district's participation in the state of emergency currently makes it eligible for federal reimbursement for staff time used in managing COVID-19 issues.