Starting March 1, restaurants, theatres, and gyms in Seattle, the state’s largest city where the first Covid-19 case was verified more than two years ago, would no longer need proof of vaccination.
Employees from the city and county who have been working from home for the past two years will shortly be called back into the office.
As the number of Covid-19 infections falls, other large cities around the country, including Philadelphia, the Twin Cities, and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., are following suit. According to NBC News’ count, the average number of new daily cases has plummeted by 67 percent nationwide in the previous two weeks.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said after the state’s strict rule, which compelled companies to demand proof of complete immunisation or mask-wearing at all indoor events, expired last month, that “numbers are coming down, and it is time to adjust.”
Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, became the latest major city mayor to waive the requirement for proof of vaccination in restaurants and other public places on Thursday.
In a statement, Baraka added, “The data confirms that we are making fantastic progress.” “The City of Newark’s three-day rolling average is 2.5 percent”.
However, public health experts are keeping a close eye on the development. They point out that more than 103,000 individuals have died from Covid in the United States so far in 2022, and that while 76 percent of the population has received at least one injection, millions more have not.
Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explained the findings. “Vaccine mandates are shown to be safe and successful public health initiatives, and stepping down would only exacerbate the problem.”
Khan said she understands “the commercial case for repealing vaccination restrictions and encouraging more clients and visitors.”
Anthony Santella, the director of the University of New Haven’s Department of Health Administration and Policy, concurred.
Santella responded, “It’s too soon.” “We went through this in the summer, when many people assumed things were returning to normal and scaled back the mitigating strategies that were supposed to curb the spread.”
The delta form, followed by the much more dangerous omicron variant, infected both vaccinated and unprotected persons, forcing local authorities to reimpose harsher pandemic precautions, according to the scientists.
“They encountered criticism even from folks who had previously been amenable when they sought to reimpose these regulations,” Santella added. “Yes, things have really improved. But it’s not over yet. We need to be a little more patient, in my opinion.”
Daily infection rates have decreased by 83 percent in King County, Washington, where Seattle is situated, since early January, while hospitalizations have decreased by 62 percent. As a result, local authorities say they have less reservations about repealing immunization laws.