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Most state employees, contractors, all private health care workers must be vaccinated by mid-October as condition of employment in new governor's order

* Snohomish County Government to be thoughtful, deliberate on issue; King County Government will mirror Inslee's order
* Exemptions will be limited but allowed



From those employed within the Department of Corrections to state social workers to road construction crews to multiple other branches of government, a majority of state employees and all contractors who work on-site must be vaccinated by Oct. 18 under a new state order from Gov. Jay Inslee which was announced Monday, Aug. 9.
Additionally, all workers in private health care and long-term care settings must abide by the same Oct. 18 vaccination deadline.
The state employee rule applies to 24 agencies of state government that are under the governor's executive cabinet, according to a press release from Inslee's office. That list is below.
“I encourage all local governments and private sectors to join us” in making these requirements, Inslee said.
Exemptions to getting a vaccine will not be automatic, and philosophical opposition to vaccines will be rejected, Inslee said. Applications for exemption because of medical or religious reasons will be considered, the governor said.
King County will be mirroring the requirement among its executive branch, its county executive Dow Constantine said.
Will Snohomish County? Kent Patton, a spokesman for County Executive Dave Somers, said by email this afternoon in response that “we are looking at our options and examining the details of what the Governor ordered today. We want to be thoughtful and deliberate.”
The 24 state agencies that are part of the governor’s executive cabinet include :
The Department of Corrections (prisons)
The Department of Children, Youth and Families (foster care, etc.)
The Department of Licensing
The Department of Agriculture
The Department of Ecology
The Department of Commerce
The Department of Transportation
The Washington State Patrol
The Department of Veterans Affairs
The state Utilities and Transportation Commission
The Office of Financial Management
The Department of Health
The Health Care Authority
The Department of Revenue
and about 10 more listed here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/office-governor/office/executive-cabinet


The order covers some 60,000 state employees, Inslee's press secretary Mike Faulk said.
This includes those who telework. A FAQ from the Governor's Office says teleworkers must follow the vaccination mandate because "all workers need to be prepared to come to a worksite at any time necessary to meet business needs."
The FAQ says that employees who refuse to be vaccinated by Oct. 18 "will be subject to non-disciplinary dismissal from employment for failing to meet the qualifications of the job," unless they have a reasonable accommodation for medical or religious reasons. For those employees with an exemption, "there may be continued or additional safety requirements for employees who are granted accommodations," the FAQ says.
The governor made the announcement at a press conference on Monday at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. He was joined by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Kaiser Permanente Washington President Susan Mullaney, Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah, and Seattle-King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Duchin.

 

  

 


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