Governor Inslee issued a new emergency proclamation on Monday, August 9, 2021 that now mandates vaccinations for workers on state projects after October 18, 2021. This vaccine mandate appears to be the trend for both public and private entities in Washington state to address the significant rise of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. More states and businesses are likely to follow this lead as momentum builds. Finding the right balance for your business or workplace will be the key challenge.
According to the proclamation, the definition of “worker” includes construction workers working on state property. (This definition does not currently include primary or secondary educational facilities or DNR). However, it does include delivery drivers or anyone else working on state property.
Workers will need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 which can include one of the following:
- CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccination record card or photo of the card
- Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record
- State immunization information-system record
A declaration or statement from the worker is not sufficient, though there are exceptions based on medical and religious objections.
Governor Inslee encouraged local jurisdictions, higher education institutions, and others in the private sector to adopt similar requirements. More questions are addressed here: Vax Mandate FAQ.pdf (wa.gov)