Inslee announces expansion of vaccine eligibility and other changes

Olympia, WA – Governor Jay Inslee announced yesterday that starting March 31, restaurant workers and those with two or more underlying conditions are among the groups who will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The expansion was announced a day after grocery store workers, law enforcement, and agricultural workers became eligible for vaccination, along with those who are pregnant and those with a disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness. 

Joining them at the end of the month will be those 16 and older with two or more comorbidities, anyone between the ages of 60 and 64, those 16 and older living in congregate settings like correctional facilities or group homes for disabilities, or those experiencing homeless and workers age 16 and older who work in restaurants, manufacturing, and construction.

There are currently around three million Washingtonians currently eligible for the vaccine, with another estimated two million eligible by the end of the month, bringing the total to five million by the end of March, a much higher number than initially predicted.

Inslee also announced that the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended through June 20.

Also, effective immediately, visitation at long-term care and nursing home facilities may resume, eliminating visitation phases, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Outdoor visitation remains the safest, preferred option, but indoor visitation will be permitted for visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated.

Compassionate care visits will still be permitted, regardless of vaccination of either party.