Washington state officials say teachers and staff at all schools, including public, private, and colleges, have until Oct. 18 to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the vaccination requirement on Wednesday, which applies to all K-12 teachers, most childcare and early learning, and higher education in the state.
“It has been a long pandemic, and our students and teachers have borne their own unique burdens throughout,” Inslee said in a statement. “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.”
The expanded mandate also includes anyone that works at a school facility, including coaches, bus drivers, and volunteers.
The new vaccination mandate does not affect students or individuals providing child care as family members, friends, or neighbors.
According to the Seattle Times, the mandate also does not apply to tribal schools.
Gov. Inslee also expanded the state's mask mandate to include everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors.
The new mask mandate goes into effect Monday.