Kittitas County leaders revealed Wednesday that the Washington State Department of Transportation refused assistance to clear snow from roadways in the region over the county’s lack of a worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
WSDOT head tells legislature vaccine mandate had no impact on recent pass closures
According to a press release from the county, the state’s own vaccine mandate saw WSDOT terminate 48 employees who were previously tasked with “maintenance and snow removal in Kittitas County.”
Days after the arrival of significant snowfall in early January, the county’s Department of Public Works says it “offered assistance [to WSDOT] to clear State roadways,” and that its offer was refused “due to Kittitas County not mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for County employees.”
County leaders were critical of WSDOT’s decision in statements sent out this week.
“During these times, we need to be able to put differences aside and work to support one another,” County Commissioner Laura Osiadacz said. “It needs to be neighbors helping neighbors and lending a hand to get the work done.”
“This county is ready, as always, to put all hands on deck to solve this problem,” Commissioner Cory Wright added. “It’s time for logic and leadership to overcome ideology and allow skilled equipment operators working alone in their cabs to get this job done.”
Earlier in the week, WSDOT head Roger Millar told state lawmakers that the state’s worker COVID-19 vaccine mandate did not impact efforts to clear snow out of mountain passes (including Snoqualmie Pass, which is located along the county line between Kittitas and

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