The Washington State Patrol said Wednesday that 93% of its employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19 under Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate for state workers.
It’s a striking turnaround for an agency that recently lagged behind other state agencies in vaccination rates as part of Inslee’s order that Washington employees get their shots or lose their jobs on Oct. 18. In order to be fully vaccinated by that date, most workers needed to get their final shot on Monday.
Of the State Patrol’s approximately 2,200 employees, 152 workers haven’t submitted paperwork to show they are vaccinated, agency spokesperson Chris Loftis said Wednesday. Of those who didn’t submit vaccination information, 91 are commissioned officers and 61 are civil servants, he said. The vaccination rate could rise, he added, as employees still have until Oct. 18 to show that they are vaccinated.
The new figures are a sharp rise from data released last week showing the State Patrol’s vaccination rate as of Sept. 20 at just under 63%. The governor’s mandate has been met with resistance. The union representing troopers promoted a demonstration at the state Capitol where a range of public-sector workers and others opposed the mandate.
Wednesday’s numbers were likely to ease concerns about how the State Patrol would manage operations should mass firings result in a significant shortage of workers. (Seattle Times)