In July, Washington State head football coach Nick Rolovich informed the public that he would not be receiving the COVID vaccine. 

Days before the Pac-12 Media Days, Rolovich announced that he had chosen not to receive the vaccine and would attend the media day remotely. 

“As the Pac-12 Conference has required that all in-person participants at next week’s Pac-12 Football Media Day be fully vaccinated, I will participate remotely and look forward to talking about our football team and the incredible young men in our program,” Rolovich said in a statement posted to Twitter. “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.”

That plan appears to have been altered after a vaccine mandate by the governor of Washington.

On Wednesday, a Washington state mandate was announced requiring employees working in K-12 up to higher education to be vaccinated. All employees working in school facilities will have until October 18 to be fully vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. 

“It has been a long pandemic, and our students and teachers have borne their own unique burdens throughout,” Washington governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) said. “This virus is increasingly impacting young people, and those under the age of 12 still can’t get the vaccine for themselves. We won’t gamble with the health of our children, our educators and school staff, nor the health of the communities they serve.”

According to Chris Grygiel of the Associated Press, Inslee’s office specifically mentioned Rolovich, saying the rules apply to the head coach as well. 

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announces COVID-19 vaccination requirements for workers at schools, colleges and universities. Inslee’s office says mandate will apply to WSU football coach Nick Rolovich, who has declined vaccine so far.”

On Thursday, Rolovich said that he would follow the mandate, though he did not specifically say he would receive the vaccine. The mandate does allow for religious and medical exceptions. 

Washington State’s athletic department put out a statement on Wednesday saying they would be following the guidelines. 

“We applaud the efforts of Governor Inslee to protect the health and safety of the people of Washington,” the athletic department said in a statement. “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.”

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