Story at a glance

  • Inslee’s order may force Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich to get vaccinated.
  • "Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated will be subject to dismissal,” Inslee said.
  • Rolovich said in a statement on social media in July that he “elected not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private.”

A new statewide vaccine mandate covering educational staff in Washington state could potentially force the lone unvaccinated Pac-12 head football coach, Nick Rolovich, to get inoculated against COVID-19. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Wednesday he is requiring all staff, faculty, contractors and coaches at the state's public schools, colleges and universities to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 — which may press the issue with Washington State University's Nick Rolovich, USA Today reported

"Just like the state worker mandate, there are limited exceptions under law which employees may apply for, including legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs," Inslee said in a statement. "Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated will be subject to dismissal."


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Rolovich said in a statement on social media in July that he "elected not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private."

"While I have made my own decision, I respect that every individual — including our coaches, staff and student-athletes — can make his or her own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. I will not comment further on my decision," Rolovich posted on Twitter. 


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Washington State athletics lauded Inslee’s effort’s to "protect the health and safety of the people of Washington" and will endeavor to follow the governor’s mandate. 

"Washington State athletics, including staff, coaches and student-athletes will continue to follow all campus, local, state, Pac-12 and NCAA guidelines related to health and safety surrounding COVID-19 and we will work to ensure the mandates in the Governor's Proclamation are followed," the statement read. 

Washington reported more than 3,500 new cases and 28 deaths in the past day, data shows. The state, once the epicenter of the pandemic, has vaccinated nearly 61 percent of its population. 


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Published on Aug 19, 2021