OLYMPIA, Wash.-- During a press conference last week, Governor Jay Inslee said he has no plans to move school staff any further up in the state’s phased COVID-19 vaccination schedule.

Meanwhile, the Governor does insist that schools in Washington state can now open safely.

Inslee stated that there’s always going to be some risk, but is certain teachers would agree with him that vaccines should go to those in Phase 1-B1 as originally planned. Phase 1-B1 includes people over 65 or people 50 and over who are living in a multi-generational household.

“It’s a decision that we are going to save lives and the way to save lives is to vaccinate the people who’s lives actually are in danger,” Inslee said.

There are an estimated 1.7 million people in Phase 1B-1. All schools employees become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination when the state gets to Phase 1B-2. On Friday State Superintendent Chris Reykdal stated that he is estimating Phase 1B-2 won't begin for at least six weeks, based on the current rate of vaccinations.

Reykdal also unveiled his agency's ‘Get Ready’ plan on Friday, a strategy to build vaccination capacity for when school staff under 65 become vaccine eligible.

Washington State has roughly 155,000 school employees.

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