As a crucial deadline for Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate approaches, state data shows vaccination numbers for Washington state workers subject to the requirement are about 20% higher than earlier this month.
The Seattle Times reported that more than two-thirds of Washington workers received their syringes.
By October 4, most workers must show they have had all of the vaccinations to be considered fully vaccinated by October 18.
To date, government agencies have provided nearly 800 shelters to civil servants whose religious or medical exemptions from the mandate have been approved. The precautions allow workers to avoid being laid off for non-vaccination and allow them to work in roles that do not put others at risk.
In a press conference last week, Inslee said he was sticking to the October 18 deadline.
While confirmed cases and hospital stays have decreased recently, hospitals remain stressed and about 30 Washingtoners die from the virus every day.
According to the Office of Financial Management, just over 68% of the nearly 63,000 mandated workers had been verified as vaccinated by September 20, up from 49% on September 6.
Government officials have protested Inslee’s mandates, with several thousand requesting religious or medical exemptions to avoid the shooting.
But a leave of absence alone is not enough to save a worker’s job. Those whose exemptions are approved must nonetheless be provided with an arrangement that enables them to continue to work in a role that is acceptable to the agency and the employee.
A hearing was held on Monday in a lawsuit filed by hundreds of workers opposing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, with a judge in Walla Walla upholding the Inslee administration’s motion to move the case to Thurston County.