Vaccination Requirements for Staff, Contractors, & Volunteers
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced yesterday that he will require all school employees in the state to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement applies to anyone working in a school environment, including volunteers. Under the governor’s newly expanded vaccine requirement, being fully vaccinated by Oct. 18th will be considered a condition of employment.
In order to meet that deadline, staff must receive the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one dose Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine by October 4th. OSPI has stated that employees who do not meet the requirement will be subject to nondisciplinary dismissal from employment for failing to meet the qualifications of the job.
Exemptions are limited to employees who have a legitimate and documented medical condition that prevents them from receiving a vaccination or employees with sincerely held religious reasons for not getting the vaccine. OSPI will be providing a form for medical and religious exemptions. Once the form is finalized, it will be available to staff who are interested in seeking an exemption.
We are working closely with CBHA to provide onsite vaccination opportunities for staff. Information will be released as soon as those dates are available. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Health maintains a vaccine locator website to help unvaccinated individuals find convenient locations to receive the free immunization.
Additionally, Governor Inslee reintroduced a state-wide mask mandate, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, in response to the surging Delta variant. Governor Inslee is requiring that masks be worn by all people over the age of five while indoors in public spaces. The state-wide mask mandate goes into effect on Monday, Aug. 23rd.
If you have questions, please read this FAQ from OSPI. Your direct supervisor and our human resources department can also help.
We understand the anxiety that these types of directives can cause. We value all of you and your contributions to education in Othello. You all play an essential part in our mission. We, as educators and leaders, need to focus on our primary mission: To educate our kids. To make that happen, we need every employee, in every department, every day.
Pete Perez, Superintendent