August 30, 2021

Important Clarifications on Governor's Vaccine Mandate

On August 20, 2021, Governor Inslee issued a revised version of his vaccination mandate . The Proclamation had several revisions of which long term care providers should be aware.


The most important revision addresses the vaccination requirements for contractors. Under the newly-revised Proclamation, the operators of Health Care Settings may elect to require the contractor or the actual company employing the contractor to assume responsibility for the vaccination verification and the reasonable accommodation requirements. The revised Proclamation provides a detailed explanation of the steps that must be taken by contractors to satisfy the proof of vaccination requirements for Health Care Settings. In addition, any Health Care Setting electing to require contractors to assume responsibility for vaccination and accommodation retains the right to investigate the contractor’s compliance and to withdraw the election at any time.


In addition, the revised Proclamation also clarifies who qualifies as an “on-site volunteer” and “on-site contractor.” An “on-site volunteer” and “on-site contractor” includes: A volunteer or contractor who is reasonably likely or contractually obligated to engage in or in fact engages in work while physically present at a building, facility, jobsite, project site, unit, or other defined area owned, leased, or occupied by an operator of a Health Care Setting.


An “on-site volunteer” and “on-site contractor” does not include: A volunteer or contractor who is reasonably likely or contractually obligated to engage in or in fact engages in work during which they are physically present at a site for only a short period of time and any moments of close physical proximity to others on site are fleeting. Examples include contractors delivering supplies by truck to a construction site where they remain physically distanced from others on the site or a driver for a contracted shipping and delivery service briefly entering a site to pick up parcels for shipping.


Finally, the Governor’s revised Proclamation warns against providing accommodations when they are not justified or supported by evidence. The Proclamation specifically states that Health Care Settings and others are prohibited from providing accommodations:

  • That they know are based on false, misleading, or dishonest grounds or information;
  • That they know are based on the personal preference of the individual and not on an inability to get vaccinated because of a disability or a conflict with a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance; or
  • Without conducting an individualized assessment and determination of each individual’s need and justification for an accommodation; i.e., “rubberstamping” accommodation requests.

Home Care Association of America

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