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Washington state mandates COVID-19 vaccination for public and private school workers as a condition of employment

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Wednesday that teachers and workers at schools across the state will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment.

The vaccine requirement will apply to teachers and other school workers.

“So today I’m announcing a vaccine requirement for K through 12 educators, for school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers, and others who spend time in these schools with children,” Inslee said, noting that also applies to private and charter schools. The governor noted that the proclamation does not include tribal compact schools.

Inslee, a Democrat who has served as governor of the Evergreen State since 2013, said there will be no option to test out of this requirement and that vaccination will be mandatory as a condition of employment.

“Similarly to our state employment requirements, there will be no test out option available,” he said. “This will be a condition of employment,” he said, regarding the vaccination requirement.

Higher education workers will also face a vaccination requirement, as will “most childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households,” according to a post on Medium.

“Our higher ed vaccination requirement is consistent with these other measures as well. Staff, faculty, contractors, coaches, volunteers, and visitors are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18th,” Inslee said. “So people have to start their vaccination well before October 18 to comply with this requirement.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that a person is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or two weeks after their single shot of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.

There will be exemptions for medical and religious reasons, the governor noted.

“Someone with legitimate medical reasons that are shown and demonstrated, or sincerely held religious reasons for not getting the vaccine will be able to seek an exemption. These exemptions do not include personal or philosophical objections,” Inslee said.

The governor also announced that effective Monday people in indoor public settings will be required to wear face masks.

“It applies to public places, restaurants and offices, shops. It covers everyone in a public-facing setting, regardless of their vaccination status,” he said. “It does not cover vaccinated workers who do not have face to face interactions with the public in those settings.”


WATCH LIVE: Inslee, state superintendent to discuss response to COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday

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