Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on Wednesday that teachers and school workers in the state will be forced to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 as a requirement of their employment.
The vaccine requirement will be for teachers and other workers at schools.
“So today I am announcing a vaccine mandate for K through 12 teachers, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, and others who are close to children,” Inslee said, stressing that the requirement also applies to private schools. The governor said that the measure does not include tribal schools.
Inslee, a Democrat who has been governor of Washington since 2013, said there will be not be an option to test out of this vaccine requirement and that vaccination is mandatory to be employed.
“Like our state employment mandates, there will not be a test out option available,” he said. “This will be an employment condition,” he said, about the vaccination requirement.
High education workers will also come under a vaccination requirement, as will “most childcare and early learning workers who serve children from numerous households,” according to a news piece on Medium.
“Our high education vaccination mandate is in line with these other measures. Staff, faculty, coaches, and visitors are now required to get fully vaccinated by October 18th,” Inslee said. “So people have to get their vaccination well before October 18 to follow this requirement.”
The CDC indicates that someone is completely vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the vaccines, or two weeks after their single shot of the J&J vaccine.
There will be exemptions for religious or medical reasons, the governor said.
“Someone with legitimate medical reasons that are demonstrated, or sincerely believed religious reasons for not getting the vaccine can seek an exemption. These exemptions will not include personal objections,” Inslee said.
The governor also said that effective Monday people inside indoor public areas will be required to use face masks.
“This applies to public places, offices, and shops. It covers everyone in a public setting, regardless of vaccination status,” he stated. “It does not cover vaccinated people who don’t have face to face interactions with the public in a work setting.”
Author: Scott Dowdy