Following the lead of several other states, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday issued a requirement that state employees along with private health care and long-term care workers get the COVID-19 vaccine or face termination from their jobs.
With COVID-19 cases once again surging and vaccination rates lagging in many parts of the state, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday ordered most state employees, as well as workers in private health care, long-term care and congregate settings to get fully vaccinated by October 18 as a condition of employment.
Unlike some other states, the order does not permit employees to opt for regular COVID-19 testing in lieu of getting vaccinated. Inslee’s office said a testing regime would be costly and not effective.
Inslee announced the new requirement at a news conference at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. He was joined by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine who were also scheduled to announce similar vaccine mandates for their employees, according to the governor’s office.
“We have essentially what is a new virus at our throats, a new virus that is twice as transmittable and is causing an explosion of this dread disease in the state of Washington,” Inslee said during the outdoor news conference. He added that COVID-19 is now “a disease of those who have not been vaccinated.”