A Sixth Emergency Rule Continues to Designate COVID-19 as a Notifiable Condition

The Washington State Board of Health (Board) adopted a sixth emergency rulemaking order to continue to designate COVID-19 as a notifiable condition and extend, without lapse, the requirements created under WAC 246-101-017, a new section during its November public meeting.

The emergency rule 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 emergency rule also lengthens reporting time frames for which local health jurisdictions must notify the Department of Health (Department) of COVID-19 cases, submit case investigation reports upon completion, and reassign cases to the Department. The emergency rule will be in effect for 120 days upon filing with the code reviser. 

The sixth emergency rule 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 CARES Act and subsequent guidance released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Board filed a CR-101, Preproposal Statement of Inquiry, on July 23, 2021 to integrate emergency rule requirements and provisions into permanent rule. 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.