During a visit to Vancouver today, Gov. Jay Inslee said that Washington community colleges may be moving in the direction of requiring students and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, prior to returning to campus in the fall.
The governor made the comment following a visit to Clark College, where he announced the certification of their two new Career Launch programs. Inslee’s comment comes as many colleges and universities across the country have announced vaccine mandates for students and staff, including all Washington State University campuses, Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran University.
“I am supportive of Washington State’s (WSU) decision in this regard,” Inslee said. “I think it’s based on science, it’s based on the principle that all of us have an interest in being healthy and it makes sense because it’s consistent with what we’ve done in education in the past.”
On April 28, Clark College announced its plans to return to campus this fall. More than 400 classes will have an on-campus component, which is roughly 25 percent of all classes that will be offered during the Fall quarter. Currently, the college is not going to require proof that students and staff are vaccinated.
“Look, we have required vaccinations for decades in our K-12 system. This is consistent with the principle that if we’re gonna have education, let’s do it safely,” Inslee said. “The COVID vaccine is safe and we know we have a pandemic that threatens Cougars, Huskies, Penguins and everyone else. I have not taken some formal position for the community college level because I would like to speak with them first, but I think it’s a direction that makes a lot of sense to go in and I hope people continue this discussion.”