It will come too late for Labor Day’s roster of big in-person events including Saturday and Sunday’s PrideFest Capitol Hill on Broadway, but King County is responding to a continued surge in COVID-19 cases with new mask requirements.
Beginning Tuesday, masks will also be required at large events with more than 500 people in attendance like Mariners, Sounders, and Seahawks games:
King County, like much of the nation, is in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. With high rates of disease transmission, and our health care system straining to keep up, it is time to take additional steps to keep ourselves and our communities safe.
Therefore, Public Health – Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin is issuing a Local Health Officer Order updating its mask Order. Beginning Tuesday, September 7:
- Face masks are required at any outdoor event with 500 or more people in attendance. This requirement applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people, 5 years of age and older.
- Masks are strongly recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – in any other outdoor setting where people cannot remain at least 6 feet apart from non-household members.
Masks will continue to be required for everyone 5 and older in indoor public settings, such as grocery stores, malls, gyms, and community centers. This requirement supports Washington’s statewide indoor mask mandate.
The new requirements join the reinstatement of Washington’s mask requirements instituted in mid-August.
The mandates come as Washington including populous King County returns to levels of “substantial transmission” of the virus and more virulent variants driven mostly by spread among the unvaccinated. In Seattle and King County, totals show around 80% of cases and 90% of COVID-related hospitalizations have been among those who are not fully vaccinated. Among COVID-related deaths in King County in July, more than 90% of those who died were not fully vaccinated.
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