Wenatchee ends city emergency orders dating to start of pandemic

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WENATCHEE — While COVID-19 remains a threat for Wenatchee and the Valley, the city is no longer considering it an emergency.

The Wenatchee City Council voted unanimously Thursday, at the request of Mayor Frank Kuntz, to revoke emergency orders he put in place in March 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic. The city says it now has the tools in place, including masking and social distancing, to manage the spread of the disease in its buildings and public spaces.

Kuntz declared the emergency at an end on March 16, and the council vote ratifies his declaration. The vote also rescinds orders that suspended non-essential city services; closed parks, playgrounds, and other facilities; and paid emergency leave for city employees furloughed from work.

“We are about as normal as we can be, other than wearing masks,” Kuntz told the council, in the first meeting open to public attendance in more than a year. “… We’re in Phase 3, and I’m assuming we’re going to stay here for a while, but it sort of feels like the things that would require the mayor to make emergency decisions are behind us.”

Wenatchee City Hall officially reopened to the public April 12, with masking and social distancing requirements in place.