Posted by on January 13, 2022 2:08 pm
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Washington state refuses help with snow clearing from unvaccinated county workers

A Washington Department of Transportation snowblower clears the road under I-90 at Summit West as backcountry skiers head up the Pacific Crest Trail after a heavy snowfall at Snoqualmie Pass. Authorities say Snoqualmie Pass has received the highest snowfall in 20 years as of Jan. 3. The Washington State Department of Transportation says by Monday afternoon, 236 inches of snowfall was recorded, more than the 229 inches by Jan. 3 that was recorded in 2007 and 212 inches in 2004. (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP) Jennifer Buchanan/AP

Washington state refuses help with snow clearing from unvaccinated county workers

Misty Severi January 13, 02:01 PMJanuary 13, 02:01 PM

The Washington State Department of Transportation rejected the help of local county officials in clearing snow out of a pass that was blocked.

Officials from Kittitas County said there was significant snowfall on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 that blocked the Snoqualmie Pass for 90 hours, blocking supply chains from reaching the county. In order to help clear the pass, the county reached out to Washington state to help, which was denied because the workers could have chosen not to be vaccinated.

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“Washington State informed Kittitas County they could not accept this assistance due to Kittitas County not mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for County employees,” a press release from the county said. “The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners is extremely disappointed with the States’ position to refuse assistance.”

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The state entered an agreement with Kittitas County in November out of a need for more workers. However, instead of honoring the agreement, the state transportation agency chose to hire a private company to help because of the county’s decision not to issue a vaccine mandate for its employees.

“On Tuesday Jan. 11, Kittitas County Public Works reached out about clearing State Route 903 near the small town of Ronald in unincorporated Kittitas County,” the department tweeted Wednesday. “County crews informed WSDOT they could not meet the vaccination declaration required of all interlocal agreements and contracts with Washington state agencies.”

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All state employees were required to be fully vaccinated by October or face termination. The state mandate meant 48 employees within Kittitas County were terminated, according to the press release.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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