Gov. Inslee mandates COVID-19 vaccine for state employees

OLYMPIA, Wash. — In an announcement Monday, Governor Jay Inslee announced a proclamation requiring that all state employees and most health and long-term care providers must receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 18.

Any employee that refuses the vaccine by Oct. 18 will be subject to non-disciplinary dismissal from their job for failing to meet the new employment qualifications, unless the employee was given an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.

State employees may work with their human resources office if they need “reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons” for an exemption.

The proclamation applies to all cabinet agency worksites, employees and Health Care employees in private-sector health care settings, including nursing homes, adult family homes, assisted living, enhanced services facilities and other treatment facilities.

The mandate does not cover separately elected officials, boards and commissions, K-12 and higher education institutions, but they are encouraged to implement their own mandate.

All employees, regardless of whether they are working remotely or not, are under this requirement.

The order is effective immediately, with a deadline of Oct. 18 to be fully vaccinated.