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News >  Spokane

Woodward says Spokane will encourage, not mandate vaccinations among city workers

Aug. 11, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 12, 2021 at 7:36 a.m.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward greets Gov. Jay Inslee who spoke to the media about the lifting of government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions on June 30, 2021, at the U.S. Pavilion in Riverfront Park.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward greets Gov. Jay Inslee who spoke to the media about the lifting of government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions on June 30, 2021, at the U.S. Pavilion in Riverfront Park. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has no plans to require the city’s workforce of about 2,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Spokane City Hall reopened on Aug. 2, although some employees are still working from home.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday he is mandating state workers be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Woodward told The Spokesman-Review this week that her focus will continue to be on encouraging – but not forcing – city employees to receive the vaccine, which she noted has been extremely effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. She wants to continue to provide employees access to the vaccine, including offering it on city premises.

“We definitely have work to do,” Woodward said.

The city would have to bargain with labor unions if it attempted to implement a vaccine requirement. Even if that hurdle did not exist, Woodward said she would not require vaccination.

The city also is maintaining the same masking policy in City Hall. People who are unvaccinated are required to wear a face covering, but those who have been vaccinated are not.

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