Vaccine deadline Monday for state workers in Washington, Oregon

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Monday is the deadline for all state workers in Washington to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

In Oregon, some state employees are also under that same deadline. KOIN 6 News is digging deeper into what’s expected to happen Monday on that vaccination deadline.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talked about the vaccine deadline a few days ago. At that time, Inslee said that he didn’t believe that government services would see any big impact from people leaving.

He added that more than 90% of state workers in Washington were already vaccinated heading into the weekend.

“We have been successful in this effort because in Washington we have state employees who are committed to public service, trying to prevent increasing rates of infection, (and) who care about the people they serve as well as their own selves and their families,” said Inslee.

Inslee said the total number of fully vaccinated state employees will climb even higher Monday because officials think a number of employees who were vaccinated still hadn’t returned their status prior to the weekend.

“We are going to keep operating just fine in part due to the dedication of our state employees,” Inslee said. “There may be some operational change in some agencies, but they have provided a way of doing that.”

However, Inslee said the state could lose employees due to the mandate.

“Some individuals who choose to walk away from their state employment, we want them to know that we have appreciated their service today and we wish them well,” he said.

People can expect more information from Inslee’s office on the number of vaccinated state employees in Washington as early as Monday.

In Oregon, thousands of government workers, educators and those in healthcare are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday. Unless they have an exemption, they could lose their job.

Multnomah County leaders told KOIN 6 News a few days ago that about 25 employees out of 6,000 still needed to get a shot or refused to get the vaccine and didn’t have an exemption.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the Oregon State Police, Oregon Health Authority, and area hospitals for comment on the deadline, but did not hear back from them Sunday.

Inslee said workers in Washington who decide to get vaccinated after the deadline will be welcomed back to their jobs if they haven’t been filled.

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