Large events in Washington to require proof of vaccination or negative test
Monday, Oct. 18, is the deadline for state workers to show proof of vaccination or face losing their job.
While lawmakers, individuals, and some industries across the state have been calling on Governor Inslee to extend the mandate deadline, he made it clear Thursday that he would hold firm to the original deadline of Oct. 18. That means if unvaccinated workers don’t submit their vaccination proof or have an approved exemption, thousands of workers could be out of the job come Monday.
“People have had 10 weeks to get vaccinated,” Inslee said, adding that more than nine of 10 state workers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 already.
“We have been successful in this effort because in Washington we have state employees who are committed to public service and who have made a decision to keep the public safe and try to prevent increasing rates of infection,” Inslee said Thursday.
Gov. Inslee also issued a new vaccine verification requirement for large events in Washington state.
The order — which kicks in Nov. 15 — will require large indoor events of 1,000 people or more, or outdoor events with 10,000 or more attendees, to verify that a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or has obtained a negative test within the prior 72 hours.
The new statewide vaccine verification requirement will apply to everyone 12 and older who is attending a large event, including concerts, sporting events, fairs, theme parks, and conventions. For now, this requirement applies to ticketed or registered events. It does not include large venues like shopping malls, museums, or grocery stores that are open to the public as a result of their operation. It also does not include religious services or events are held on K-12 school grounds.
Vaccination status can be verified by using a CDC vaccination record card or a photo of that card, a printed certificate or screenshot from MyIRMobile.com, or other official immunization records from health providers. Confirmation of a negative COVID test can be shown using the records provider by the test provider or laboratory.
It was clarified that this new requirement only asks for a person’s proof of vaccination status and will not require ID to be shown.
“This is yet another step in an ongoing battle with this disease. We believe it is a very important one,” Inslee said. “It can help incentivize people to decide to get vaccinated and avoid the headache of having to get a test.”
“Nearly half of the world’s population, more than 3.7 billion people, have received at least one dose of one of these COVID vaccines currently available,” the governor added. “We know that these vaccines work, and that’s why we’re taking these measures.”
COVID-19 vaccines are now available to everyone 12 and older. The vaccine is available at no-cost. Find a vaccine appointment near you using the state’s Vaccine Locator tool.