King County to require proof of vaccination or negative test for many outdoor and indoor events and establishments to address COVID-19 spread
information from King County
With continued high levels of preventable COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and increased deaths driven by the Delta variant, serious stress on our regional healthcare system, and concern for a significant outbreak resurgence this fall and winter, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and community, health care, small business, and arts and culture partners joined in support of requiring verification of full vaccination or a negative test to enter certain indoor and outdoor activities and establishments.
A Health Order issued today by Public Health – Seattle & King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, going into effect on October 25, will protect customers and workers through providing safer spaces, protecting our health care system, and helping prevent business closures. It will apply to:
- Outdoor events with 500 people or more – such as professional and collegiate sports and entertainment events
- Indoor entertainment and recreational events or establishments – such as professional and collegiate sports, entertainment, performing arts, museums, theatre, live music, gyms, and conferences/conventions.
- Restaurants and bars (including indoor dining) – this does not apply to outdoor dining, take-out customers, and places that aren’t primarily used as a restaurant, such as grocery stores.
The order gives the option for a longer preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or less, with an implementation date of December 6. The entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will be reviewed no later than six months after the October 25th implementation date to assess its continued need based on future outbreak conditions.
“We are at a critical point in this pandemic, with high levels of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and no certainty as to what will follow the Delta variant,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Vaccination is our best shield against this deadly virus. With over 85 percent of King County residents having received at least their first vaccine dose, vaccine verification will help keep people safe and keep businesses open.”
“Seattle was the first region in the country to feel the devastating effects of the COVID-19 virus, and we innovated and brought nation-leading testing and vaccination sites to our residents. That work is why we have one of the highest vaccination rates and the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of any major American city,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “But Seattle is not immune to the surge in cases and hospitalizations caused by the Delta variant. We must act now – and act boldly – to change the trajectory of the virus and keep our communities safe. After extensive engagement with community partners, small businesses, venues, and hospitals, Seattle is proud to implement a vaccination verification policy. It’s the right thing to do for our workers, our customers, our economy, and the health and vitality of our city.”