Inslee says he’ll require most state employees, private health care and long-term care workers to get COVID shot

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at Monday’s press conference. (Photo courtesy governor’s office)

Gov. Jay Inslee Monday announced a requirement for most state workers, as well as on-site contractors and volunteers, 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 governor 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 governor made the announcement at a press conference on Monday at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle.

“State employees, health care and long-term care workers are extremely pivotal in the fight against COVID-19, and we hope these steps will further our goal of getting as many people vaccinated,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah, MD, who also attended the press conference. “We should all be concerned with the increases of COVID-19 cases in our state and we know that vaccines are our best tool to end this pandemic.”

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.

This new requirement includes well-defined exemptions to the vaccine. Individuals with legitimate medical reasons or sincerely held religious reasons will be exempt. The exemptions do not include personal or philosophical objections.

To keep staff, families and communities safe, there will be no test-out option for employees. Past opt-out testing policies in congregate facilities for unvaccinated staff have not been efficient at preventing outbreaks that impact employees, clients and families, resulting in the loss of life of dedicated staff. Providing a test-out option would be both a financial burden for staff and taxpayers and ineffective at protecting the lives of Washingtonians.

Employees who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to dismissal from employment for failing to meet legal job qualifications. The state will work with labor organizations on meeting collective bargaining obligations and adhering to civil service rules.

The City of Seattle and King County also announced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their employees.

  1. Vaccines are the only thing that really makes a major difference in this fight against COVID. Over 99.2% of deaths from COVID are from the unvaccinated. For the vaccinated COVID is no longer a threat, while the unvaccinated are purposefully choosing to put themselves and other people at grave risk (with the exception of kids under 12 of course).

    Even with breakthrough cases, vaccinated people just get mildly sick while the unvaccinated pointlessly lay down their lives to join the over 600,000 dead from this virus. Of the vaccinated who have gotten seriously sick, most of them have severely compromised immune systems like those with HIV. The risk for most people with the COVID vaccine is incredibly low.

    The rate of kids who are being hospitalized has vastly increased with the Delta variant due to irresponsible unvaccinated adults who put them there.

    A vaccine mandate especially for health care workers is common sense and reasonable. This is probably one of the best policies that Inslee has instituted.

    1. Apparently you and I don’t understand Evan. It seems any form of believing the science and using the concept of mutual cooperation to solve this virus problem once and for all, with the simple act of getting vaccinated is somehow not the American way of doing things. If we could just get rid of “the King Inslee” and ignore the virus, things would be right with the world again and we would all be free. Never mind, lots of us will also be dead; that doesn’t matter as long as we are free when we die. There is nothing quite as good as being a free dead person, I guess.

    2. Thank you Evan Nelson, You are always so good at explaining. You manage to educate without insulting. You are so informed and bright. Like a breath of Fresh air you are to me. So don’t stop, you are helping. Deb.

  2. From king Inslee and the rest of the overbearing hacks running this state, zero consideration for those who have had the C-19 and therefore have natural immunity superior to the mRNA injection(s). Same for the millions who have natural immunity which by and large seems to be anyone under 50 who is otherwise healthy. The roll out of the vaccine based upon fear, threats and extorsion was not the best sales pitch, but it seems government only knows one way to implement a plan and then wonder why free thinking citizens call B.S. on it.

    1. Those are some dangerous incorrect assumptions that have led to a lot of deaths in this country.

      There are absolutely 20-30 year olds dying from COVID right now. Also, just because someone has had COVID does not make them immune. There is a big reason why over 99% of those killed and those with serious long term effects from COVID are unvaccinated. That reason is simply that the Vaccines are safe and effective, and being unvaccinated is unnecessarily dangerous.

      Having a vaccine mandate for State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings is a basic and common sense policy. There are a few other occupations like those who handle food or work at large commercial stores and assembly plants that should be included as well.

      You have a right to drive a car, but not to drive on the sidewalk. There is no reason to unnecessarily put everyone else at risk when there is a perfectly good roadway to use instead.

  3. William.. should the police also make sure you get an hour of exercise every day? Should they restrict your diet? Should they make sure you take your vitamins? Should they make sure you get an hour of sunshine? Just want to know where you draw the line?

  4. I think the delta varient is a natural varient, but I’ve been reading a bit about how the jabs might create a varient of their own which will be even more hell to deal with.

    #1 – No new people are going to trust the jabs until some scientist (like the ones who made the virus) go to jail. We’d rather die. We’d rather be the only person wearing a mask at Obamas birthday super spreader party.

    1. OK hold on. There are probably more people right now in Downtown Edmonds spewing delta than anyone would expect… Bring Obama and his rather small actually party compared to our events on a regular basis and all the rest seems a bit uh selective.. I am disappointed in you. We have had larger super spreaders in our very own EAC… I don’t care as I don’t have to attend but to smear Obama seems a bit um…. well I thought you were a smarter man than that but I guess I was wrong. I don’t really want to be mad at you so I am not…but Also it should be mentioned since you brought it up that all of Obama’s guests were at least required to be vaccinated.

    2. Are you saying you think the scientists that made our current vaccine or vaccines should go to jail?? For what?
      Did you know that Anthrax is a Bacterial Infection and although if untreated it can be fatal. But it is treatable with Antibiotics. They are comparing Bacterial Infections in several places here using Anthrax as an example. I know you know that Covid and its variant Delta are not bacterial but viral infections. I know you know too that Anthrax can be cured and that it is mainly seen in animals. Remember when people and the WH were getting envelopes etc filled with white powder and everyone was freaking out. I remember.

      1. Deborah, take a minute to learn about this. I was involved with the anthrax program and have a history while in the service.

        Yes. The people who made, leaked, and obfuscated the origins of CV-19 should go to jail (Guantanamo Bay). It looks like some of those people are in the same small esoteric group of virologist who have benefitted from the proliferation of the vaccines. Bruce Ivans. the< part is getting the moratorium lifted.

        "Did you know that Anthrax is a Bacterial Infection and although if untreated it can be fatal. But it is treatable with Antibiotics"

        People typically do not pass from CV-19 (the virus) so much as from bacteria (like how anthrax is a bacteria) in the form of pneumonia. I think those who banned several good antibiotics and therapeutics should also be criminally liable.

      2. Meant to point out, Bruce Ivans was a scientists who studied anthrax allegedly released the agent as a means to kick off a domestic forced inoculation program. There are people who are associated both with the virus vaccine and the possible origins of CV-19. These conflicts of interested should be sorted out. There needs to be an investigation which isn’t steered or run by the same people who might get in trouble.

  5. Edmonds is a beautiful town with lots of friendly people. This is my personal experiece. If a car would hit me on a city street I believe a resident, including all who comment here in MEN., would come to my assistance. Despite the comfort this belief gives me, I must admit that Edmonds, like America, is not perfect. It is a work in progress.
    It is not true that our governor is a king. Public discourse is not enhanced by falsehoods. That our public officials are “overbearing hacks” is a generalization that free speech permits, but would not hold true under any serious examination. Spreading lies and inaccuracies do not help us improve.
    The people who openly lie, and those who wrecklessly repeat inaccurate informaion about the coronavirus are harming our children. Vaccines work for those over 12. Masks will help slow down the spread of the virus untl a vaccine for those under 12 is available. From my point of view believing in these facts is no more difficult than recognizing that a person lying in the street after a traffic accident needs my help.

  6. “Unitary executive command of the state”, really? Clearly with that explanation for how a state governor’s power is the same as a king’s, a person can believe or make up any reality. The Wizard of Oz comes to mind.
    It is great to know that we agree that masks work. So go out and buy an N95 and stop complaining about the diligent health officials who work for us.
    Back in 1492 Columbus more or less proved that the world is not flat. Yet there are still people who meet each year to refute his work. Are these people jokesters or fools? Whatever, their activities are irrelevant at best. So is the repeated asking of questions that have long been answered about the vaccines. They work and work better than any so-called natural immunity. Unlike in 1492, there are details about the vaccines that we have yet to learn. So the dissemination of information about the vaccines that is false is not just irrelevant, it is dangerous to public heaith.
    I am also happy that we agree that asking valid questions, by which I mean questions about which we need help to answer, is not conspiratorial. I will add that without the use of common sense, reason and some humility the search for answers may lead to misinformation.

    1. Columbus didn’t prove the earth was round. It was well know by everyone even before Christ that the earth was round. Your whole whole point is both wrong and rude. The CDC is saying the vaccines didn’t work. We are wearing masks again because of the science out of Massachusetts that showed vaccinated people are carrying the delta variant. Now the goalposts is “the vaccine [only] reduces the severity of the symptoms”.

      If I said this a month ago, this comment would have been moderated/censored. Flat earthers move the goalposts all the time. Not objective people.

      1. Matt, you are on target, as usual. Your wit and intelligence seem to set certain people off. Those blaming Fox News is laughable and not an original argument, just cliche. Mr know-it-all chimes in just to be argumentative. Of course these are the people who elected our mayor Nelson, and argued for months in this very comment forum in Nelson’s favor.
        It seems that if you have a different point of view they consider you a waste of time, when in fact we have this forum for everyone to express their opinion, not to insult, which is habit forming apparently.

        1. Thank you Grace. I think Clinton [below] commented before the Columbus debunk was debunk. In fairness to him, using false history to argument against false history doesn’t jump out at you at first.

        2. “….we have this forum for everyone to express their opinion, not to insult…” “Mr know-it-all chimes in….”

          Calling someone a name is kind of insulting, don’t you think?

        3. Grace, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, you are correct, it is a duck! Your opinion is shared by many. You go girl!

        4. Grace, when you attempt to make the argument that this forum is for all to express themselves without fear of insult from others (which I agree with), and then you turn around and insult someone by calling them a name for expressing themselves, to me, is hypocritical. Even if someone writes something you deem demeaning (your “truth”), it is much more powerful to express your opinion about it respectfully. Of course, my opinion.

        5. Annon, Thank you for your opinion; In the future I will be looking for you to call out Mr Know-it-all when he insults people. However, you possibly have a one-way reading glass.

        6. Annon, I enjoy your comments, but I don’t understand how you can say Grace is a hypocrite for saying someone is a “know it all”. You yourself have called two of our council members “toxic individuals” in an April 28, 2021 comment, while I agree with your assessment of those council members, you are still calling them names. People in glass houses should not throw stones. Of course, it’s always nice to be civil, but calling someone a “know it all” will probably be construed as a “compliment” by the person for which it was intended. Calling someone “toxic” could never be misconstrued.

        7. Martin, I don’t know the entire comment you’re referring to so it’s difficult to address. I can say that when individuals engage in behavior and/or make statements/choices that are harmful over and over and over again, then that, to me, is toxic. If I expressed that in a way that was offensive, I apologize.

          In this case, I will attempt to state my opinion more clearly. I did not say that Grace was a hypocrite for calling someone a name, I said it seemed hypocritical for her to state her belief that this forum is for everyone to “express their opinion, not to insult”, when she began her post by insulting someone.

        8. Annon, I did not “begin my post” by insulting someone. I said “Mr know-it-all chimes in to be argumentative”, about 1/3 into my post. You seem to have a bone to pick here, but you are sitting at the wrong table with the wrong utensils.
          I suggest you re-read your own past posts and start at home with your self-reflection and critical opinions by calling people “toxic individuals”………(yes I too found your comment) you yourself have called people names.
          Nobody advocates being mean and calling people names, but Alas, we are all guilty, including you…. ..and me, and Mr. know-it-all!

        9. Grace, you were an informative read today. You are fiery, smart, and witty, I know your granddaughter, Laura would be proud. I hope she is weathering this crazy covid wave in CA while serving the public as an accomplished health care provider in her field. You have a lot to be proud of there.

  7. Allow me to end my contribution to this discussion board. I am pleased to read that we can agree that masks (specifically the N95) work at mitigating the spread of Covid-19. In addition there are two vaccines that lessen the disease severity, To be sure there are hedges like “do appear” and “so far.” Logic should then lead one to accept that a rational response by health officials are mask directives to slow the spread and vaccinations to stop hospitalizions and death.
    I did not say that Columbus proved the earth is round. In a sense that was done by Magellan. Since most people who lived in the centuries before Christ, and even for centuries afterwards, did not know how to read or write, it is doubtful that they understood the somewhat complicated calculations done by those realively few learned in mathematics and science, who knew and proved the earth was round.
    Finally, what does “Flat earthers move the goalposts all the time. Not objectve people.” mean? Does it refer in some way to the search for knowledge? If so I learned at a young age that one comes up with an hypothesis, which can be subjective, then objectively examines evidence that will confirm or refute it. Far too many people are now taking the first step in this scientfic method without following through with the second.

  8. Good move Mr. Molly, I’ve learned that trying to discuss things with people who revise and make up history as they go along to fit whatever their personal narrative is, is a pretty futile endeavor. I notice these folks tend to get many of their “facts” from places like Fox News and obscure websites of one sort or another. Total waste of one’s time.

  9. If there was one thing that was made very clear in our military training is that one could not hide from viruses. One could potentially slow the roll of a virus – but if you were in a contaminated zone, unless you were wearing a self-contained gear or were naturally immune, you were gonna get it. An N95 vs virus…the virus still wins.

    I’m not going to debate science, except to say that science changes and is ever evolving. And for me to suggest someone get a vaccine when I don’t know their medical history is presumptuous on my part – but to support an individual’s decision on their choice in this case, I’ll gladly do.

    Life is short. Live it while you are here.

    1. Mike, as always you contribute sensible dialog to this discussion without insulting ones choice of news they might view. You are a winner, and I appreciate your input.

  10. Mike, my 25 years of military experience were very different from yours, apparently. Every deployment I was ever involved with included mass inoculations for everyone to protect them from known diseases in the area. In fact, inoculations were an important part of keeping soldiers deployable. Shot records were kept up to date for all soldiers. The idea was, to the extent possible, prevent disease and keep soldiers available for duty.

    1. Mike – I’m sure our experiences were very similar. I too was inoculated with every deployment. I even welcomed it, unlike some. But we were clearly told that vaccines were not cures, that in certain environments we had to suit up, and that one could not hide from a virus. I will say that where we might differ is that my team was never told our shots would protect us.

    2. Thank you for your service, Mike. The requirement for inoculations is portrayed in Scott Miller’s film, “Vaccine Syndrome,” which opens with a dramatization of the court martial of the first soldier to refuse the (experimental) anthrax shot. The film, available free on Vimeo, also includes heart-wrenching stories of the adverse effects of the shot to service members and their families.

      After seeing the devastating effects that experimental vaccine on the population it was forced upon, I fear the consequences of the jab Inslee is requiring for civilians, beyond what we are already seeing, in the months and years to come, and on the next generation.

    3. Mike Rigsby. Anthrax was not in Iraq, or Kuwait, or Qatar. I was deployed there. We were inoculated against the Ames strand of anthrax, which was only found in the United States. We were even attacked with letters sent from the US (by our own scientists) to the US as an act of terrorism. After a lot of studying on the matter I feel as though the anthrax vaccine caused the Gulf War Syndrome. I, and thousands of other vets, refused the vaccine.

      Again, like with anthrax, our own scientists are creating something.

  11. The name calling and labels generally come when people run out of rational arguments. The people here calling me “Mr. Know it All” are generally the least open minded people making comments in my opinion. I’ll happily defend how often I say “I don’t know” or “I don’t have the answers” to a given controversy. I’ll happily defend how often I’ve apologized openly to someone when I’ve gotten too personal and I suspect I’ve admitted I’m wrong about some things as much or more as anyone else who comments here. If it makes you feel better about yourself to call me names, go for it. I really am not offended; and defend your right to do so; but I’ll pass on participating in it, if you don’t mind.

  12. It would be frightening to receive medical care from a facility NOT requiring staff be vaccinated against COVID. Vaccination is now our first line of defense against this virus, but only if we use it.

  13. William, your comments are Hate Speech.

    I am going to report you to the Edmonds snitch line.

    You are promoting violence, fear, rage, and hatred.

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