Masks required beginning Aug. 23, updated COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees

Masks required beginning Aug. 23, updated COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employees

New vaccine mandate for higher ed employees

Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced vaccine requirements for employees working in higher education, K-12 and most childcare and early learning settings.

Employees will have until Oct. 18 to be fully vaccinated or submit an exemption for medical or religious reasons. The requirement is a condition of employment. Regardless, WSU employees MUST enter their declaration of vaccination or file for an exemption on Workday by Aug. 23. Those who asked for exemptions must either become fully vaccinated or file a medical or religious exemption by Oct. 18.

Note that employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, which means that they must be two weeks past their final dose of the vaccine. To meet this requirement, the Moderna vaccine regimen must be started by Sept. 6, the Pfizer regimen by Sept. 13, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine no later than Oct. 4.

Instructions for submitting a declaration or an exemption as a WSU employee:

  1. Visit
  2. Select “Requests” from the welcome page and then “Create Request”
  3. In the “Request Type” window, type “COVID” and press “enter”
  4. Select “COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Declaration” and click “OK”
  5. Read the declaration statement and select the statement appropriate to you
  6. Click “Submit”

The vaccination mandate for state employees does not apply to students. For student requirements, visit

Indoor mask mandate

In addition to vaccine requirements, Gov. Inslee announced a statewide mask mandate that will include vaccinated individuals in indoor settings.

Effective Monday, Aug. 23, all individuals over the age of 5 must wear a mask while in indoor settings that may be accessed by the public, including restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public-facing offices, regardless of vaccination status. The mandate also applies to schools (including colleges and universities).

There will be limited exceptions when masks aren’t required, such as office spaces not easily accessible to the public where individuals are vaccinated, and when working alone indoors or in a vehicle with no public face-to-face interaction.

For latest WSU COVID-19 information, visit:

WSU system COVID-19 website |
WSU Tri-Cities COVID-19 website |