State Relations

August 19, 2021

Governor requires COVID-19 vaccines for higher education employees

Governor Jay Inslee announced yesterday that all employees at higher education institutions, including the University of Washington, must be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 by Oct. 18 as a condition of employment. There will be limited exemptions for individuals with documented medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs. Test out options or philosophical exemptions are no longer allowed.

Today’s proclamation is consistent with the Governor’s Aug. 9 vaccination mandate for health care workers, including those at UW Medicine and the School of Dentistry.

The governor also announced a statewide mask requirement starting Aug. 23 for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in most indoor public spaces. The University already reinstated an indoor mask mandate for all individuals so this requirement does not change UW operations.

The University will determine how COVID-19 policies will be updated to reflect the new requirements in the coming days. The UW’s response to yesterday’s announcement can be found here.