Thurston County becomes latest to enact vaccine mandate for county employees

Aug 27, 2021, 10:12 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
reopening, vaccine mandate Thurston County...
A sign indicating where to wait at a West Seattle vaccine clinic. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Workers employed by Thurston County will soon have to either get vaccinated, submit to weekly testing for COVID-19, or risk losing their jobs.

Inslee: ‘No reason to abandon a career’ over vaccine mandate

According to a report from The Olympian, the Thurston County board of commissioners passed a new resolution this week, after more than two-dozen people voiced their support for a vaccine mandate.

“It’s important that people basically take responsibility for the community and not just themselves,” said one public commenter during this week’s virtual board meeting. “This is thinking in a larger context rather than looking just at your own well-being.”

Anyone who works for the county will either have to submit proof of full vaccination by Oct. 31, or agree to weekly COVID testing. Refusal to choose either option could result in an employee being disciplined and/or fired.

This follows in the wake of a similar mandate put in place for state workers by Gov. Jay Inslee. King County and the City of Seattle also followed suit shortly after Inslee’s announcement in early August. That mandate, though, doesn’t allow for a weekly testing option, and sets an Oct. 18 deadline.

Vaccinations are also required by that same deadline for all K-12 educators and school staff in Washington, as well as those working in higher education.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state are now at the highest they’ve been at any stage in the pandemic.

Washington hospitals strained to their limit by rise in COVID cases

“This pandemic is not slowing down,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said during an early-week briefing. “In just a couple of months, the delta variant has ravaged our state, particularly those who are unvaccinated.”

Of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in recent weeks, 95% are unvaccinated. That’s been driven by the prevalence of the delta variant, which now makes up nearly all new COVID cases in Washington.

Local News

Seattle library...
MyNorthwest Staff

Last of Seattle Public Library branch closures from pandemic comes to an end

Seattle has reopened its NewHolly library branch, meaning that for the first time since the start of the pandemic, all 27 of the city's branches are now up and running.
21 hours ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

2 people shot in Seattle; suspect surrenders to police after SWAT negotiation

A suspect surrendered to police Saturday afternoon after two people were shot in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, the Seattle Police Department said.
21 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

New rules for visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Starting Tuesday, visitors to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative test within three days of visiting.
21 hours ago
seattle police...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle police patrolling lower West Seattle Bridge after reports of covered plates

Seattle police say they are conducting enforcement at the lower West Seattle Bridge after it was discovered that drivers have been obscured their license plates to avoid traffic cameras.
21 hours ago
Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, unvaccinated officers, seattle police...
Stephanie Klein

Seattle Police Chief asks officers to submit vaccine paperwork

As the Oct. 18 deadline to prove COVID-19 vaccination or risk losing a job looms, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz sent a heartfelt memo to officers letting them know he doesn't want to lose them.
21 hours ago
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Jail body scanner discovers handgun in folds of woman’s belly

Snohomish County Corrections deputies made an unexpected discovery while booking a 30-year-old woman into jail on Wednesday.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Thurston County becomes latest to enact vaccine mandate for county employees