Seattle, the biggest city in the state where the first U.S. case of Covid-19 was confirmed more than two years ago, will lift its proof-of-vaccination requirement for restaurants, theaters and gyms starting March 1.
And city and county employees who have been working from home for two long years will soon start getting called back into the office.
From coast to coast, other major cities, including Philadelphia, the Twin Cities and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., are doing the same as the rate of Covid-19 infections plummets. Nationally, the average number of new daily cases has dropped by 67 percent in the last two weeks, according to NBC News’ tally.
“Numbers are coming down, and it is time to adapt,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said after the state’s stringent mandate, which required businesses to demand proof of full vaccination or mask-wearing at all indoor venues, expired this month.
On Thursday, Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey, became the latest big-city mayor to lift the requirement to show proof of vaccination at restaurants and other public venues.
“The data shows that we are making tremendous progress,” Baraka said in a statement. “Our three-day rolling average for the City of Newark is at 2.5%. We have not been here in a long time.”
In Washington, D.C., where Covid cases have dropped by more than 90 percent since the height of the omicron wave, Mayor Muriel Bowser gave constituents a post-Valentine’s Day present by announcing that proof of vaccination will no longer be required in places like restaurants and entertainment venues starting Feb. 28.