Inslee: Private health care workers must get vaccine

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a requirement Monday for most state workers and private health care employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings will have until Oct. 18 to be fully vaccinated.

The requirement applies to state workers, regardless of teleworking status. This applies to executive cabinet agencies, but the Inslee encouraged all others such as higher education, local governments, the legislative branch, other statewide elected officials and organizations in the private sector to do the same.

“It is the mission of public servants and those providing health care to serve our fellow Washingtonians. These workers live in every community in our state, working together and with the public every day to deliver services,” Inslee said. “We have a duty to protect them from the virus. They have the right to be protected, and the communities they serve and live in deserve protection as well.”

The announcement comes as Washington is experiencing a severe increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in every county, due to the Delta variant, with the overwhelming majority of cases and hospitalizations being among unvaccinated Washingtonians.