Deadline arrives for unvaccinated Washington state workers

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Monday is the final day for thousands of workers in Washington to prove they’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to keep their jobs. Washington’s vaccine mandate was issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in August and covers more than 800,000 workers. The mandate applies to most state workers, long-term care employees, and teachers and staff at the state’s schools, including the state’s colleges and universities. The only opt-out is a medical or religious exemption, though the exemption only ensures continued employment if a job accommodation can be made. Recent numbers show that a vast majority of employees covered by the mandate have been vaccinated. A Thurston County judge on Monday denied a last ditch effort by dozens of public sector employees who sued to block the mandate.