WA worker vaccination increases ahead of mandate deadline

Vaccination numbers for state workers are about 20% higher than earlier this month.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — As a crucial deadline for Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate approaches, state data shows that vaccination numbers for Washington state workers subject to the requirement are about 20% higher than earlier this month.

The Seattle Times reported that more than two-thirds of Washington workers have gotten their shots.

By Oct. 4, most workers must show that they have gotten all their shots in order to be considered fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Meanwhile, state agencies have granted nearly 800 accommodations to state workers whose religious or medical exemptions from the mandate were approved. The accommodations allow workers to avoid getting fired for not being vaccinated, and allow them to work in a role that does not put others at potential risk.

Inslee in a news conference last week said he was holding firm to the Oct. 18 deadline.

While confirmed cases and hospitalizations have recently begun to drop, hospitals remain stressed and about 30 Washingtonians are dying from the virus daily.

As of Sept. 20, a little over 68% of the nearly 63,000 workers subject to the mandate have been verified as vaccinated, up from up from 49% as of Sept. 6, according data from the Office of Financial Management.

State workers have protested Inslee’s mandates, with several thousand seeking religious or medical exemptions to avoid the shots.

But an exemption alone is not enough to save a worker’s job. Those whose exemptions are approved must still be granted an accommodation that allows them to keep working in a role acceptable to both the agency and the worker.

A hearing was held Monday in a lawsuit by hundreds of workers opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, with a judge in Walla Walla granting the Inslee administration’s request to move the case to Thurston County.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

The WA Cares law is designed to give individuals access to a lifetime benefit amount that, should they need it, they can use on a wide range of long-term services and supports. (Washington State Department of Social and Health Services)
Potential delay of new long-term care payroll tax considered

One concern lawmakers have about the WA Cares fund is its lack of portability for those who move out of state.

The Wahluke Warrior image represents the strong relationship between the school district and the Wanapum Indians of Priest Rapids. (Wahluke School District)
Yakama Nation approves Mattawa school’s use of Warrior image

The Wahluke School District has a mandate to ensure the use of the image remains respectful.

This Feb. 1, 2017 photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows the Western gray wolf Snake River pack seen by a remote camera in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. (ODFW via AP)
Oregon officials ask public help to find killers of 8 wolves

All five members of the Catherine Pack, plus three other wolves from other packs, were poisoned.

People ride one person to a double chair lift on opening day at Steven's Pass on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 in Skykomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Warm weather delays ski season at Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass is pushing back its opening day of Dec. 3, saying colder temps and snow are needed.

Tonya Isabell, left, speaks Thursday, June 18, 2020, during a vigil for her cousin Charleena Lyles, pictured at right, on the third anniversary of her death, in Seattle. Lyles was shot and killed by Seattle police. Also in attendance at the vigil were family members of nearly two dozen people killed by police across the country who traveled to Seattle to urge police reform, an issue renewed by protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle to pay $3.5M to settle police wrongful-death suit

Police killed Charleena Lyles at her home in 2017, after she called 911 to report a burglary.

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

COVID vaccine verification digital record offered in Washington

WA Verify generates a QR code that can be scanned to show that a person is fully vaccinated.

Amazon workers in Alabama get a do-over in union election

The NRLB says Amazon may have created the false impression that the company was the one conducting the election process.

Reagan Dunn to take on U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier in 8th District

The Republican is challenging incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier in a district which could include a slice of Snohomish County.

Most Read