Inslee announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate

“It has been a long pandemic, and our students and teachers have borne their own unique burdens throughout,” Inslee said. “This virus is increasingly impacting young people, and those under the age of 12 still can’t get the vaccine for themselves. We won’t gamble with the health of our children, our educators and school staff, nor the health of the communities they serve.”

“As our school buildings reopen this fall for in-person learning, vaccination of our school employees will be a key mitigation measure to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and families,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “Our ability to maintain continued in-person learning without major COVID-related disruptions will depend on low virus transmission within our schools. I appreciate the governor’s leadership in taking this important step in the fight against the spread of this virus.”

“In Washington we continue to see an increase of cases, hospitalizations,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “Vaccines are safe and effective, but they take time to work. As our vaccination efforts continue, we are asking the public to take additional protections to help slow the spread of COVID in communities. Wearing a mask helps to protect yourself and each other.”

“We have seen over the last year how widespread masking also saves lives by reducing infection,” Inslee said. “I know this will frustrate some vaccinated folks who thought they wouldn’t have to do this anymore. There are not enough people vaccinated. The result is the explosive growth of a much more infectious strain, the Delta variant, and its increasingly concerns impacts on people of all ages.”

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