COVID-19 Information & Resources

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Please visit for the latest COVID-19 information. 

Please note that King County Public Health should remain your primary source of information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Please check out their COVID-19 Data Dashboards for the latest statistics. To see recent news on this page, click here.

For the latest Washington State-level COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit

For Sammamish City Hall re-opening plan, please see here.

Please note that King County Public Health should remain your primary source of information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Please check out their COVID-19 Data Dashboards for the latest statistics. To see recent news on this page, click here.

For the latest Washington State-level COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit

For Sammamish City Hall re-opening plan, please see here.

This project was archived. 

Please visit for the latest COVID-19 information. 

  • Vaccination verification for indoor activities and large outdoor events

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    Reprinted from King County Public Health

    People ages 12 and older are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County.

    This requirement will help to protect customers and workers, protect our health care system (read a statement of support from the healthcare community), and prevent business closures as the Delta variant continues to spread in King County. You can read this Public Health Insider blog post for more information, and view the Local Health Order.

    Read Governor Inslee's Large Event COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Proclamation here.

  • Children ages 5 – 11 now eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

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    Reprinted from the Washingon State Department of Health

    Pediatric vaccine will help protect children and slow disease spread across Washington

    OLYMPIA – The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children 5 to 11 years old. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which reviewed data that found the vaccine to be safe and more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in younger children.

    “As a father and as a physician, I have been eagerly awaiting the day I can get my children vaccinated,” said Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “There are nearly 680,000 kids ages 5 to 11 in Washington. Vaccinating this younger age group will help protect them, keep students in the classroom, and bring us one step closer to ending this pandemic.”

    Across the country, COVID-19 cases in children ages 5 to 11 make up nearly 40% of all cases in adolescents 18 and younger. While it is true children often have more mild cases of COVID-19 compared to adults, they can become very sick and may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe. According to the CDC, more than 650 children under the age of 18 have died of COVID-19.

    The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart. The pediatric vaccine is a smaller dose (10 micrograms) compared to the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 and older (which is 30 micrograms). Side effects reported in the clinical trial were generally mild to moderate and included sore arm, fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and nausea, with most going away within a day or two.

    COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children who received the vaccine and have had no serious side effects. Research shows COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfection. Families with questions are encouraged to visit DOH’s web page for information about vaccines and kids, or to talk to their child’s health care provider.

    “This is incredible news and, as a pediatrician, I am thrilled younger children are now eligible to get immunized against COVID-19,” said Chief Science Officer Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH. “It is wonderful to think that families can take advantage of vaccination for both young and old to more safely gather during the upcoming holidays.”

    To schedule an appointment, reach out to your health care provider, your child’s pediatrician, local pharmacy, or a mobile clinic near you. As more pediatric doses arrive into the state, DOH is updating Vaccine Locator and will add an option for “Pfizer-BioNTech Pediatric” vaccine in the coming days. If you have questions or need help scheduling an appointment, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 833-VAX-HELP. Language assistance is available.

    Due to the state’s initial limited pediatric vaccine supply of roughly 315,000 doses, during the first couple weeks families may need to reach out to more than one provider to find vaccines for their kids. Over time, supply will increase and there will be enough vaccine for all eligible children.

    The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection.

  • Is a booster shot right for me?

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    This blog was cross-posted from the Washington State Department of Health’s blog, Public Health Connection.

    Need a good news boost? Look no further than the arrival of COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

    Recently authorized by the CDC and the FDA for the Pfizer vaccine and for certain groups of people, boosters are here to protect higher risk populations from severe COVID-19 infections.

    While there’s been a lot of news about boosters in recent weeks, there’s also a lot of confusion. You may be wondering if multiple shots are necessary, regardless of your vaccination status. You may also be wondering if you’re currently eligible, or when you might be.

    Bottom line? Boosters will be important to fight COVID-19 — especially with new variants on the rise. But they’re not recommended for everyone.

    Read on to learn if you’re currently eligible for a booster, and if it’s worth considering.

    What is a booster shot?

    A booster refers to a dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but that protection decreased over time (known as waning immunity). The booster is intended to give your immunity “a boost” and provide you with increased immunity for a longer time.

    Chances are, you’ve already had many boosters in your lifetime. Boosters are effectively used in routine vaccinations to protect against diseases like chickenpox, tetanus, mumps, and measles.

    And that’s not something new to COVID-19, either. Since the COVID-19 vaccines were first introduced, scientists have acknowledged that boosters might be needed.

    Why is it necessary?

    The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the delta variant. Still, the current vaccines decrease in protection over time, especially among high-risk populations.

    The data on the effectiveness of boosters is limited, but encouraging. Researchers found that a Pfizer booster shot increased the immune response for those who got both (Pfizer) doses six months earlier.

    Who’s currently eligible for a booster?

    You should get a booster if your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was at least six months ago and you’re in one of the following groups:

    You should also consider a booster if you’re in one of the groups listed below, depending on your individual risk factors:

    Right now, only those who received the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster dose. If you received the Pfizer vaccine and aren’t sure if you should get a booster, talk to your health care provider.

    I’m currently eligible. How do I make an appointment and what should I expect?

    You can make an appointment with your health care provider or at your local pharmacy. To find a vaccine location near you, visit Vaccine Locator or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1–800–525–0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.

    Remember to take your vaccination card with you so you can show that you already had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. If you don’t have your card, the provider can look up your record — or you can access your records using MyIR Mobile.

    You can also self-report if you are eligible for a booster. You don’t need to show proof or have a note from your doctor.

    Like the first two doses, this booster shot is provided at no cost to you. As for side effects, you can expect a similar reaction to your initial shots — with mild to moderate side effects that may last a couple of days. The most common side effects of the boosters were injection site pain, fatigue, and headache.

    Will others be eligible soon? Will I still be protected from COVID-19 without one?

    Don’t worry if it’s not your turn yet. If you’re fully vaccinated, you have effective protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

    There’s currently no data available about the effectiveness of boosters for other populations we haven’t mentioned. But that may change as more data becomes available through additional research.

    What about those who didn’t get the Pfizer vaccine?

    Booster doses might be recommended in the future for those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but right now there isn’t enough research to make that call. More research on the effectiveness and safety of these booster shots is ongoing and expected soon. In the meantime, don’t mix COVID-19 vaccines. There is very limited data about the safety and effectiveness of doing so.

    What’s the difference between a booster and a third dose?

    Though they’re often used interchangeably, there’s a distinction.

    A third dose (also known as an additional dose) is for people who are immunocompromised. Sometimes people who are immunocompromised do not build enough protection when they first get fully vaccinated. When this happens, getting another dose of a vaccine can help them build more protection against the disease.

    A booster refers to a dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but that protection decreased over time (waning immunity).

    You can learn more about the difference in the Washington State Department of Health’s recent blog.

    More information

    This blog is accurate as of the date of reposting from the Washington State Department of Health’s Public Health Connection blog. Information changes rapidly, so check the state’s COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date info at

    Originally published on October 14, 2021.

  • Inslee Extended Eviction Moratorium Through October 31

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    Gov. Jay Inslee updated the eviction moratorium bridge proclamation. The update was announced at a press conference on September 23.

    The eviction bridge transition is extended through 11:59 PM on October 31, 2021, to allow more time for local jurisdictions to distribute rental assistance funding.

    Read full news release:

  • King County to require proof of vaccination or negative test for many outdoor and indoor events and establishments to address COVID-19 spread

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    Reprinted from:


    To protect customers and workers, preserve hospital capacity and help prevent business closures, King County will require verification of full vaccination status or a negative test to enter outdoor public events of 500 or more people and indoor entertainment and recreational establishments and events such as live music, performing arts, gyms, restaurants, and bars.


    With continued high levels of preventable COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and increased deaths driven by the Delta variant, serious stress on our regional healthcare system, and concern for a significant outbreak resurgence this fall and winter, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and community, health care, small business, and arts and culture partners joined in support of requiring verification of full vaccination or a negative test to enter certain indoor and outdoor activities and establishments.

    A Health Order issued today by Public Health – Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, going into effect on October 25, will protect customers and workers through providing safer spaces, protecting our health care system, and helping prevent business closures. It will apply to:

    • Outdoor events with 500 people or more – such as professional and collegiate sports and entertainment events
    • Indoor entertainment and recreational events or establishments – such as professional and collegiate sports, entertainment, performing arts, museums, theatre, live music, gyms, and conferences/conventions.
    • Restaurants and bars (including indoor dining) – this does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren't primarily used as a restaurant, such as grocery stores.

    The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6. The entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will be reviewed no later than six months after the October 25th implementation date to assess its continued need based on future outbreak conditions.

    An analysis by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) conducted for King County found that the vaccine verification policy at restaurants, bars, and gyms/fitness centers alone could have a significant positive impact, preventing between 17,900 and 75,900 infections, 421 and 1,760 hospitalizations, and 63 and 257 deaths locally over six months with the order in place.

    We are at a critical point in this pandemic, with high levels of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and no certainty as to what will follow the Delta variant," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "Vaccination is our best shield against this deadly virus. With over 85 percent of King County residents having received at least their first vaccine dose, vaccine verification will help keep people safe and keep businesses open."

    "Seattle was the first region in the country to feel the devastating effects of the COVID-19 virus, and we innovated and brought nation-leading testing and vaccination sites to our residents. That work is why we have one of the highest vaccination rates and the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of any major American city," said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. "But Seattle is not immune to the surge in cases and hospitalizations caused by the Delta variant. We must act now – and act boldly – to change the trajectory of the virus and keep our communities safe. After extensive engagement with community partners, small businesses, venues, and hospitals, Seattle is proud to implement a vaccination verification policy. It's the right thing to do for our workers, our customers, our economy, and the health and vitality of our city."

    "Our COVID-19 response must continue to adapt to the difficult, changing reality of this pandemic. The Delta virus is much more contagious, airborne, causes severe illness, and is seriously stressing our hospitals and healthcare providers," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. "King County's vaccine verification program will prevent infections, hospitalizations and deaths, safeguard our healthcare system, and provide safer spaces for the public and for workers."

    Several forms of vaccination proof will be permitted under the order, including:

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination record card or photo of card.
    • printed certificate or QR code (available in late September) from (MyIR Mobile is currently limited to English language only. For language assistance, or additional help getting your records, call the Washington State Vaccine Helpline at 833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357) or email
    • other official immunization record from within or outside the United States, including from your health care provider. A photo or photocopy of this card is also acceptable.

    The order defines full vaccination as two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after completing another approved vaccine. No personal identification with proof of vaccination will be required.

    For people who are unvaccinated or cannot prove vaccine status, they will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test in the last 72 hours, or a negative rapid test result from a testing provider conducted on site at an event or establishment just prior to entry. Individuals under 12 years of age, who are not eligible to be vaccinated, are not required to be tested for entry.

    Establishments will be responsible for checking vaccination proof or negative test status. Public Health, King County, and City of Seattle will be working with partners to provide technical support and educational materials to businesses and organizations implementing the order.

    King County, the City of Seattle, and Public Health developed the vaccine verification policy in consultation with Public Health's Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group, cities, small businesses, chambers of commerce, labor unions, trade associations, sports teams, entertainment venues, community groups, and faith-based leaders throughout the county to create a policy that aims to be workable, fair, and equitable for businesses and residents.

    Several jurisdictions have already adopted some form of vaccine verification policy, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles County, the State of California, British Columbia in Canada, and Clallam and Jefferson counties in Washington state. Last week, several local sports teams and venues, including the Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Storm, Seattle Thunderbirds, University of Washington Huskies, and all events at Climate Pledge Arena adopted vaccination verification policies.

    The Delta variant is more than twice as contagious as the original COVID-19, which makes increasing vaccination rates even more important to slowing disease spread and protecting people from hospitalization and death. UW's IHME projects our outbreak to worsen in the next six months with hundreds of thousands of additional cases, thousands of additional hospitalizations, and approximately a thousand additional deaths, with the majority among unvaccinated people.

    Currently, 68% of the total King County population and 79% of eligible King County residents (those 12 years of age and up) have completed their vaccination series against COVID-19, including more than 70% of every eligible age group and all racial groups tracked by Public Health. There are nearly 300,000 King County residents who are eligible but have not yet started their vaccination series.

    Anyone needing COVID-19 vaccine can visit to find a vaccine in their neighborhood. To date, more than three million vaccine doses have been administered in King County.

    For more information on King County's COVID-19 vaccine verification policy, visit


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    Reprinted from Public Health Insider:

    King County, like much of the nation, is in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. With high rates of disease spread, and our health care system straining to keep up, it is time to take additional steps to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

    Therefore, Public Health – Seattle & King County is issuing a Local Health Officer Order. Beginning Tuesday, September 7:

    • Face masks are required at any outdoor event with 500 or more people in attendance. This requirement applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people, 5 years of age and older.
    • Masks are strongly recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – in any other outdoor setting where people cannot remain at least 6 feet apart from non-household members.

    Masks are still required for everyone 5 and older in indoor public settings, such as grocery stores, malls, gyms, and community centers. This requirement supports Washington’s statewide order for wearing masks indoors.

    Why outdoors?

    The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through the air. We know that outdoors, with its natural ventilation and airflow, is much safer than indoors. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 can still sometimes spread outdoors, especially in large groups where physical distancing is difficult or impossible. This is an even greater risk now that the highly contagious Delta variant is dominant in King County.

    Well-made, snug-fitting masks provide crucial protection against COVID-19.

    Why do unvaccinated and vaccinated people need to wear masks?

    While we have some of the highest vaccination rates of any large metro area in the United States, there are still approximately 750,000 people in King County who remain unvaccinated and susceptible to COVID-19. This includes children under 12 who don’t yet have the option of getting vaccinated.

    Vaccinated people are at much lower risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 than unvaccinated people, and the vaccines offer extremely good protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. But the risk is not zero, even for vaccinated people, and the fast-spreading Delta variant raises the risk for everyone.

    The latest surge of COVID-19 cases is taking a heavy toll on hospital capacity. Hospitals are more crowded than at any point since the pandemic began, and our healthcare workers are stressed and stretched thin.

    Other counties and cities around the country are reporting their healthcare systems have run out of beds and oxygen because of the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases. They are having to turn away people in need from hospital care. We do not want this to happen in King County, and that’s why we’re taking action.

    The high rates of community spread and the large burden on the health care system mean that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people need to take extra precautions right now, including wearing masks.

    King County’s new order is consistent with the latest guidance from the Washington State Department of Health, which strongly recommends that all people, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering in crowded outdoor settings.

    Originally published on September 2, 2021.

  • Inslee announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate

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    Reprinted from:

    Education vaccine mandate does not impact students

    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. The governor was joined for the announcement by Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah.

    Educator vaccine requirement

    K -12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers and others working in school facilities will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. The requirement includes public, private and charter schools, and comes as schools across the state prepare to return for the 2021–2022 school year amid rapidly increasing case and hospitalization numbers. This does not impact students, regardless of age.

    “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.”

    As with state employees and private healthcare workers, there will be no test out option. Unions may bargain with school districts to negotiate time off to receive the vaccine or recover from symptoms of the vaccine. Just like the state worker mandate, there are limited exceptions under law which employees may apply for, including legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated will be subject to dismissal.

    Higher education and childcare/early learning

    Inslee also announced a vaccine requirement for employees in Washington’s higher education institutions, as well as for most childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households.

    Education staff, faculty and contractors are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, consistent with the state worker vaccination requirement timeline.

    Childcare providers affected by the requirement include the following groups

    • 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 FFN (family, friends and neighbors) care.

    Statewide mask mandate

    The governor also announced that the existing statewide mask mandate will be expanded to once again include vaccinated individuals in indoor settings effective Monday, August 23.

    The expansion comes after Washington recently broke the previous record for COVID hospitalizations set in December. Every county in the state currently falls within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) substantial or high transmission, and each of the state’s 35 local health officers recently recommended all individuals wear masks indoors.

    “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.”

    The mask mandate will apply to most all public places across the state, including restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public-facing offices, regardless of vaccination status.

    There will be limited exceptions when face coverings won’t be required, such as office spaces not easily accessible to the public where individuals are vaccinated, and when working alone indoors or in a vehicle with no public face-to-face interaction. Small, private indoor gatherings where all attendees are vaccinated are also exempt.

    “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.”

    While not required, the Department of Health strongly recommends individuals also wear masks in crowded outdoor settings, such as outdoor concerts, fairs and farmers markets.


  • Inslee announces vaccination requirement for most state employees, private health care and long-term care workers

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    Reprinted from:

    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a requirement for most state workers, and on-site contractors and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. State employees and workers in private health care and long-term care settings will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated.

    The requirement applies to state workers, regardless of teleworking status. This applies to executive cabinet agencies, but the governor encouraged all others such as higher education, local governments, the legislative branch, other statewide elected officials and organizations in the private sector to do the same.

    “It is the mission of public servants and those providing health care to serve our fellow Washingtonians. These workers live in every community in our state, working together and with the public every day to deliver services,” Inslee said. “We have a duty to protect them from the virus, they have the right to be protected, and the communities they serve and live in deserve protection as well.”

    The governor made the announcement at a press conference on Monday at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. He was joined by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Kaiser Permanente Washington President Susan Mullaney, Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah, and Seattle-King County Public Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Duchin.

    “State employees, health care and long-term care workers are extremely pivotal in the fight against COVID-19, and we hope these steps will further our goal of getting as many people vaccinated,” Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, said. “We should all be concerned with the increases of COVID-19 cases in our state and we know that vaccines are our best tool to end this pandemic.”

    The announcement comes as Washington is experiencing a severe increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations in every county, due to the Delta variant, with the overwhelming majority of cases and hospitalizations being among unvaccinated Washingtonians.

    Prior to the governor’s announcement, Kaiser Permanente WA mandated that it would be requiring all its employees to be vaccinated.

    “The growing threat of the Delta variant has put our unvaccinated communities in a serious and precarious situation. We have at our disposal the key to ending this deadly surge and even the pandemic — vaccines,” said Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington. “As the largest integrated health care provider in the state of Washington, Kaiser Permanente has taken the important step of requiring that all employees and physicians be fully vaccinated. We look forward to working with the governor, the state, labor partners and our fellow health care systems to protect our state.”

    King County leads the state in vaccinations, with approximately 81.5% of eligible residents 12 years of age and older having initiated their vaccination series, 12% higher than the statewide average as of August 2.

    “No patient should have to worry about getting COVID-19 from their health care provider, period,” said Jeff Duchin, King County Public Health officer. “Requiring COVID-19 vaccination for health care personnel protects not only patients and health care workers, but also their families and our community — including those who cannot be vaccinated or do not respond to the vaccine due to being immunocompromised. I thank Governor Inslee for taking this important action as the threat of COVID-19 is increasing locally and nationally.”

    This new requirement includes well-defined exemptions to the vaccine. Individuals with legitimate medical reasons or sincerely held religious reasons will be exempt. The exemptions do not include personal or philosophical objections.

    To keep staff, families and communities safe, there will be no test-out option for employees. Past opt-out testing policies in congregate facilities for unvaccinated staff have not been efficient at preventing outbreaks that impact employees, clients and families, resulting in the loss of life of dedicated staff. Providing a test-out option would be both a financial burden for staff and taxpayers and ineffective at protecting the lives of Washingtonians.

    Employees who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to dismissal from employment for failing to meet legal job qualifications. The state will work with labor organizations on meeting collective bargaining obligations and adhering to civil service rules.

    The City of Seattle and King County also announced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their employees.

    “From the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic to today, Governor Inslee, Executive Constantine and I believe in the importance of speaking as one government. So many small businesses have stepped up to require vaccines and as some of Washington’s largest employers, we are too. The spread of the Delta variant has required that we continue to make decisions that are safe for our employees, their families and our community. There is no doubt that vaccines work, and that they are our best defense against the highly contagious Delta variant,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Seattle has led the way by listening to our public health officials- it’s why we have the lowest cases, hospitalizations and deaths of every major city. It is crucial that in our workplaces where we work, eat, have meetings, and laugh together, we make sure we are doing what we can to keep ourselves and our colleagues, our children and families, customers, and members of the public safe from serious illness, hospitalization, or death from this virus.”

    “A healthy King County depends on every eligible resident getting vaccinated. With the Delta variant surging, it is high time for everyone to do their part to protect one another, our children and our economy,” said Dow Constantine, King County executive. “Joining with the state and the City of Seattle, we’re helping close the vaccination gaps in our community and our workforce, to get everyone across the finish line and move our community forward into recovery.”

    “Getting vaccinated against COVID is a public good. We have come so close to defeating this deadly disease,” Inslee said. “We have the tool — the vaccine — to get this era behind us. It is safe, it is effective, and you will never regret getting it.”

    Additional information:

  • Inslee announces statewide indoor mask mandate

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    Gov. Jay Inslee today announced a vaccination requirement for employees working in K-12, most childcare and early learning, and higher education, as well as an expansion of the statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Read complete news release here: Gov. Jay Inslee News Release

  • From the CDC: Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

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    Reprinted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    Summary of Recent Changes

    • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
    • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
    • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
    • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
    • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.