‘Not a time for baby steps’: Gov. Inslee ‘actively considering’ expanded vaccine requirements

Sep 10, 2021, 5:37 AM
Jay Inslee, reopen, vaccine requirements, long term care tax...
Governor Jay Inslee speaks before a crowd in Tukwilla, WA.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced an expansion of Washington’s mask mandate to include large outdoor events, while hinting that vaccine requirements for indoor businesses could potentially be on the horizon.

Vaccine rules in Clallam, Jefferson counties part of ‘social contract’

A vaccine mandate for state employees will take effect on Oct. 18, but does not extend to having businesses require proof of vaccination for customers. That said, with Clallam and Jefferson counties now requiring that indoor restaurants and bar patrons be fully vaccinated, a similar proposal is being weighed at the state level.

“It’s the kind of measure we might consider on a wider basis as this pandemic increases,” Inslee said during a Thursday press conference. “… Those things are under active consideration — we are in that type of danger zone at the moment.”

King County announced more concrete plans of its own this week as well, stating that it intends to enact vaccine requirements for select indoor businesses in October.

Inslee noted that health officials would still need to figure out how such a policy would work logistically statewide, citing the need to develop “a mechanism for effectuating it” before moving forward.

He went on to clarify that he has “not made final decisions in this regard,” but continued to emphasize the need to get more people vaccinated as COVID cases and hospitalizations are at the highest levels they’ve been over the course of the entire pandemic.

“When you make a decision to not be vaccinated, it is not just about your health — it is about the health of everybody around you,” he said. “We need people to think a little less about ‘me’ and start thinking a little more about ‘we’ — this is not about you, it is about us.”

President Joe Biden also announced sweeping mandates of his own this week. Those mandates include requiring federal workers to be vaccinated, and compelling businesses with over 100 employees to either require vaccines for their workers, or enact once-a-week COVID testing.

King County to explore enacting new vaccine requirements

Gov. Inslee praised the president’s move on Thursday, calling it “the right decision.”

“The federal government has now joined the state of Washington in an effort to end this pandemic,” he said. “This is not a time for little tiny baby steps to attack something that’s killing our people.”

Local News

SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

9-year-old boy shot by younger brother in Federal Way

A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after being shot by his younger brother in Federal Way.
1 day ago
The US government will fly in baby formula on commercial planes contracted by the military in an ai...
Heather Bosch

A guide to locate baby formula from Washington’s Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health has put together a list of resources to help find nutritious food to feed your newborn.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
‘Not a time for baby steps’: Gov. Inslee ‘actively considering’ expanded vaccine requirements