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Washington State Governor Jay Inslee during a televised press conference (August 18, 2021). Source: Governor's office

Inslee expands vaccination and masking mandates, blames those unwilling to be vaccinated

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference this afternoon, August 18th, to announce 2 new statewide COVID-19-related mandates.

The first mandate requires those working in K-12, most childcare and early learning and higher education to be fully vaccinated by October 18th as a condition of employment.

Childcare providers affected by the requirement include the following groups.

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  • Licensed, certified and contracted early learning and childcare programs
  • License-exempt early learning, childcare and youth-development programs
  • Contractors (coaches, volunteers, trainers, etc.)

Not included in this mandate are providers delivering family, friends and neighbors (FFN) care.

The second mandate requires everyone, 5 years and older and regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while in indoor public settings, statewide. This would go in effect Monday, August 23rd. This will apply to most public places including restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public accessible offices.

Inslee warned, “This may not be the end of our efforts if this pandemic continues. We are hopeful that these measures will restrain the pandemic.”

These announcements come as schools look to reopen for the 2021-2022 school year in 2 weeks and following a recent announcement mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment for state and healthcare facility employees.

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August 18, 2021 press conference broadcast via TVW.org

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