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Washington vaccine mandate sets up clash with college head football coach

Governor Jay Inslee recently mandated the vaccine for all public university coaches

Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s recently announced vaccine mandate has set up a clash with Washington State University’s head football coach, Nick Rolovich.

“K -12 educators, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers and others working in school facilities will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment,” an announcement from the governor’s office said. USA Today reported that only religious and medical exemptions will be allowed.

The policy will pose a challenge for Coach Nick Rolovich (right), who said in July he does not plan to get vaccinated. He did not explain why.

“I have 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 said.

He did not attend a PAC-12 meeting because the conference barred unvaccinated individuals from attending in person.

The new mandate follows a decision by Washington State University to eliminate all personal and philosophical exemptions last week for unvaccinated students.

“WSU said those exemptions would be nixed once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval to vaccines now allowed under an emergency authorization,” the Associated Press reported.

“The university said once the personal exemption is removed from its vaccination policy students will have up to 45 days get a shot or request a new exemption on religious or medical grounds,” the AP said.

Students who choose not get vaccinated may be barred from attending events due to an undefined “outbreak.”

“[I]n the event of an outbreak or other public health emergency, unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty may be restricted from participating in events and activities to protect themselves and others,” the university said. “There may be certain events where a designated individual may ask to verify vaccination status,” the public university said.

MORE: UConn grants over 700 vaccine exemptions

IMAGE: King 5/YouTube.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.