TL;DR – President Biden announced a directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and child care workers. The state remains committed to vaccinating all Washingtonians as quickly and equitably as possible.

K-12 educators and licensed child care workers added to Washington’s current vaccination phase

Yesterday, President Biden announced a directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and child care workers. His goal is for each teacher and child care worker to get at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March. To follow this directive, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health have added K-12 educators and licensed child care workers to Washington’s current vaccination phase, which is Phase 1b tier 1, effective as of March 2, 2021.

Phase Finder has been updated and is now functional with the new guidance.

The state remains committed to vaccinating all Washingtonians as quickly and equitably as possible. Providers are to continue vaccinating people who were already in past and current phases, along with anyone newly eligible due to this directive.

Those eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Washington are:

  • Workers in health care at high risk for COVID-19
  • First responders at high risk for COVID-19
  • People who live or work in long-term care settings
  • People age 65 and older
  • People who live in multigenerational housing
  • K-12 educators/staff
  • Child care workers

Vaccine supply for these last two groups will come partially from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, but all enrolled providers are directed to vaccinate these workers as well if they make appointments or walk in to a clinic.

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will prioritize vaccinating school staff and child care workers during the month of March. In addition to their existing state and local COVID-19 vaccination sites, starting next week, the following groups will be able to sign up for an appointment through this program: pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, child care centers and family child care providers, and Head Start and Early Head Start staff.

Pharmacies are being asked to honor any existing appointments for first and second doses.

For more information, please see:

Inslee announces authorization of J & J vaccine by Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup

Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

The announcement comes after the FDA and CDC granted their initial authorization for the J & J vaccine. The Western States Workgroup, comprised of vaccine experts from Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada, has met to review the data and analysis to ensure the safety and efficacy of all FDA-authorized vaccines. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were reviewed and authorized following federal authorization in December.

“The Workgroup’s authorization gives us further confidence around the safety and efficacy of the J & J vaccine,” Inslee said. “Like the other two, this vaccine offers strong protection against serious illness from COVID-19, which is critical in our fight against this deadly virus.

“With the delivery of the J & J vaccine this week, and overall increase in the number of vaccine doses coming to Washington, we have increased our capacity to get vaccine to all parts of the state. We are making good progress on vaccination rates, and this third vaccine will help our efforts to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Read the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup letter.

COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers

On January 5, Governor Inslee announced the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan, which lays out the process to safely reopen Washington state. The plan includes guidance for certain businesses and industries to help protect Washingtonians and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The full Healthy Washington phased chart is available here.

Important Reference Documents

Healthy Washington Requirements

The following business activities must adhere to the occupancy and operation requirements outlined for their region’s Healthy Washington phase:

Religious and Faith-Based Organizations

Professional Services

Personal Services

Eating and Drinking Establishments

Weddings, Funerals and Events

Sports, Recreation and Fitness

o Sporting Activities FAQ

Indoor Entertainment Establishments

Outdoor Entertainment Establishments

All employers must follow COVID-19 prevention protocols for employees as required by the Department of Labor and Industries. Industry-specific workplace requirements are listed below:

Additional Industry Requirements

For additional industry-specific safety practices, including those for Farm and Agricultural Workers, Food Workers and Establishments, schools, healthcare providers, and others, please visit the Department of Health’s Resources and Recommendations Page.