On August 9, 2021 Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14, which requires all health care providers (this includes all employees, contractors, volunteers, and providers of goods and services who work in a health care setting) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. It also requires operators of health care settings to verify the vaccination status of
a) Every employee, volunteer, and contractor who works in the health care setting, whether or not they are licensed or providing health care services, and
b) Every employee, volunteer, and contractor who provides health care services for the health care setting operator.
It’s important to remember that regardless of which vaccine is administered, to reach full vaccination it takes two weeks after the final dosage. Get information about the COVID-19 vaccine, and where to receive it from the DOH website.
To ensure meeting full vaccination by the October 18 deadline, you must:
- Have received your first Moderna dose by September 6, 2021
- Have received your first Pfizer dose by September 13, 2021
- Have received your single Johnson & Johnson dose by October 4, 2021
Listed below are a few of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement:
Whom does the proclamation apply to?
The proclamation requires “Health Care Providers” to get vaccinated. This term is defined broadly to include more than just licensed health care providers. It includes:
• Individuals holding a license, certification or registration from the Washington State Department of Health, who are actively practicing or providing services to people
• Individuals who are permitted by law to provide health care services in a professional capacity without holding a credential from the Department of Health and are actively providing services to people
• Long-term care workers, with limited exceptions described below
• Onsite workers in any health care setting, regardless of whether they are licensed or providing health care services (for example administrative support staff who work in person in a clinic or cleaning service workers). Onsite workers include employees, independent contractors, volunteers, and providers of goods and services engaged in work in a health care setting.
Is a school classroom where occupational therapy or physical therapy services are provided a health care setting?
No because the classroom is not primarily used for the delivery of in-person health care. However, assuming there is an area in the school that is primarily used for delivering health care services, such as a nurse’s office or school-based health center, the school is required to verify the vaccination status of the licensed occupational and physical therapists who work for the school as employees, volunteers, or contractors.
Is a school nurse’s office a health care setting?
Yes, because it is primarily used for the delivery of health care. Accordingly, the school is required to verify the vaccination status of every employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in the nurse’s office, even the workers who are not licensed or providing health care services.
Does this apply to licensed health care providers who only provide telehealth services?
Yes. All individuals who hold a health care profession credential on this list and are actively practicing or providing services to people are subject to the vaccination requirement regardless of where they work.
Is frequent testing an alternative to vaccination for a Health Care Provider who works for me as an employee, volunteer, or contractor?
No. If an individual does not qualify for an accommodation, they must get vaccinated. Testing is not an allowed alternative. If an individual qualifies for an accommodation, they are exempt from the requirement to get vaccinated. Testing may be an option for an operator of a health care setting to consider for individuals entitled to accommodations.
Will the state suspend a provider’s credential if they do not get vaccinated?
The Department of Health, along with the professional Boards and Commissions, will follow their normal complaint and investigation processes regarding legal requirements for credential holders. Depending on the circumstances, this could include taking action against a provider’s credential.
Visit the complete list of Vaccine FAQs.