LOCAL NEWS

Limited number of vaccinated state House members allowed in chamber

Nov 19, 2021, 8:21 AM
Olympia, state House...
The capitol building in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

The Washington state House has decided how to handle COVID-19 vaccinations in the upcoming legislative session.

On Thursday, the House announced that only a limited number of vaccinated lawmakers will be allowed on the chamber floor. Unvaccinated legislators will have to be tested for the virus three times a week in order to work in their on-campus offices.

Washington lawmaker locked out of capitol over COVID vaccine mandate

The Associated Press reports that the House has double the number of lawmakers compared to the Senate, but it has not yet been determined how many lawmakers will be allowed on the floor while the others are participating remotely. The only staff allowed will be security, those at the rostrum, and those working the technology on the floor, AP reports. No testing will be required for those on the House floor.

A state Senate plan released a couple weeks ago has no vaccination requirement to be on the chamber floor, but there will be daily testing for all 49 state senators and their staff — whether or not they have been vaccinated.

The state capitol was closed to the public during the last legislative session, but has been open since July 1 with a mask requirement for all visitors. The next 60-day session begins Jan. 10.

Rachel La Corte with the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Limited number of vaccinated state House members allowed in chamber