August 9, 2021

-The Seattle Times



Gov. Jay Inslee will hold a news conference Monday in Seattle in which he is expected to announce a vaccine mandate for state employees.

The news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente’s Capitol Hill campus. Some local government employees are also expected to be impacted, and Inslee will be joined by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine at the announcement.

Inslee had signaled a potential mandate at a news conference last week, pointing to the need to tamp down COVID-19 infections, which are rising again largely due to the highly transmissible delta variant.

California and New York last week announced requirements for government workers to get vaccinated or else submit to weekly tests to make sure they don’t have the virus.

“We know we have to increase our vaccinations, that’s a certainty,” Inslee said at a news conference last week. “The question is how to do that in a reasonable way.”

Details of the new mandate, including exemptions, have not been publicly released. The governor’s office, in a news release, said the news conference Monday was called “to announce new efforts to increase COVID vaccinations in Washington state.”

Health officials have said disease modeling shows the delta variant likely accounts for more than 90% of new COVID-19 cases in Washington. About 53% of Washington residents had been fully vaccinated as of last week, including nearly 64% of those 16 and older.

This is a breaking news post that will be updated.