OLYMPIA, WA — All K-12 and higher education employees statewide, as well as some childcare providers are now required to be vaccinated, Gov. Jay Inslee said today at a press conference.
Inslee also reissued a statewide indoor mask mandate to include everyone, regardless of vaccination status. The order previously applied only to unvaccinated individuals.
Inslee’s new COVID-19 mask mandate goes into effect Monday, Aug. 23.
His educator vaccine requirement applies to:
- K-12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers and others working in school facilities
- Employees in higher education institutions
- Childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households
Today’s new vaccine requirement is a condition of educator employment and applies to public, private and charter schools. Tribal schools are exempt from the order. Students are not mandated to get the vaccine. Educators and staff have until October 18 to get fully vaccinated.
Inslee said today’s announcement follows a massive surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide, breaking previous records set last September.
The Department of Health recommends face mask use in crowded outdoor settings, such as concerts, sporting events, fairs and farmers markets.