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Washington public transit workers eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on March 17

Transit workers, law enforcement and grocery workers are among the critical workers eligible for the coronavirus vaccine starting March 17.

SEATTLE — On Thursday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced more critical workers can get vaccinated beginning March 17. That includes people who work in certain congregate settings, such as grocery stores, agriculture, corrections, transit and law enforcement. 

"This is such welcome news,” said Rebecca Japhet, communications manager for Pierce Transit. "Our operators have been out there on the front lines for a year providing rides for people to get to essential destinations."

Japhet said they are working on plans to vaccinate all 530 of their transit operators.

“We are working with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management to try to schedule a vaccination clinic, a drive-through clinic, for our employees, hopefully very soon,” she said.

RELATED: Washington expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on March 17

Japhet said their other employees will be vaccinated, too, with a goal to make the process as simple as possible.

“We are really excited about the idea of doing something on-site for our employees. It's going to make it convenient for them, where they don't have to go find an appointment somewhere,” she said.

Thursday’s announcement was also welcome news for King County Metro. A spokesperson said, "Right now, we are strongly encouraging all of our eligible workforce to get vaccinated as quickly as possible through health providers and vaccine sites." 

No employees will be required to get vaccines and masks will still be required on buses. Metro announced earlier this week they have now placed mask dispensers on all of their buses.