Dear MHCW Members,
For your general information, on Wednesday, August 18 Governor Inslee held a press conference in regard to discussing the state's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor was joined by Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH.
The Governor announced the immediate requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education to be vaccinated. This would include teachers, cooks, janitors, bus drivers, volunteers and anyone working in these facilities. Like the requirement for most state workers, on-site contractors and volunteers, as well as workers in private health care and long-term care settings, which the Governor announced last week, need to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. This new group also has until October 18 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those who refuse will lose their jobs unless they qualify for medical or religious exemptions.
Indoor Mask Mandate:
Also, starting Monday, August 23 there is statewide mandate on masks indoors whether or not you are vaccinated. This will include most public settings such as:
- Grocery stores,
- Malls and
- Public-facing offices
Exemptions to the mask requirement are limited to office spaces not easily accessible to the public and small, private indoor gatherings where everyone is vaccinated, as well as those working alone indoors with no public face-to-face interaction.
It was further noted that this is a legally binding emergency proclamation by the Governor of the State of Washington.
See the below news release for more information.
To view the Governor’s press conference click here.