Fourth COVID-19 Emergency Rule Adopted, Extends Reporting Requirements

The Notifiable Conditions rule outlines requirements for reporting information that is necessary for public health officials to protect the public's health by tracking communicable diseases and other conditions.

The Washington State Board of Health (Board) adopted a fourth emergency rulemaking order to extend, without lapse, the requirements created under WAC 246-101-017, a new section at its June 9 public meeting. The emergency rule explicitly designates novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), also known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), as a notifiable condition and requires health care providers, health care facilities, laboratories, local health jurisdictions, and the Department of Agriculture to report certain demographic, testing, and other relevant data for each COVID-19 test.

The immediate adoption of a fourth emergency rule to extend these requirements is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety and general welfare of the State of Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure continued compliance with the federal law and related guidance. The purpose for drafting the rule was in response to the federal CARES Act and subsequent guidance released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Board’s fourth emergency rule is effective July 23, 2021. The emergency rule will be in effect for 120 days. The Board previously adopted emergency rules for COVID-19 reporting on July 31, 2020, November 25, 2020, and March 26, 2021.