Concerts, sports matches and other large events will now require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test for indoor events with 1,000 people or more, or for outdoor events with more than 10,000 people.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s term comes into effect Monday. Inslee announced the mandate last month after concerns about rising COVID rates and in particular the impact of the more contagious delta variant that threatened to overwhelm local hospitals.

The order applies to all persons 12 years of age and over. The requirement covers paid or registered events with defined entrances, not places like malls, museums or grocery stores that are open to the public.

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Masks at major events in the King County area have been mandatory since early September, but the use and application of masks is disparate. Broadcasts of sporting events often show fans with masks slipped under their noses or bare faces.

Participants must show proof of their full immunization status by showing their business card (or a photo of it), a printed certificate or a screenshot of or other vaccination records from health providers. They also have the option of showing a negative test result which was taken within 72 hours of the event. Large events do not include those that are organized or run in elementary or secondary schools. The mandate excludes religious or denominational groups.

Shelly Tolo, president of Tolo Events, a Seattle-based event production company, is grateful that the new tenure provides options for large events to take place rather than limiting the number of guests or shutting down events entirely. .

“At least with this tenure, we had a pretty good idea that something was going to happen,” Tolo said. ” It’s given [us] an opportunity to prepare.

Tolo said some customers provide rapid tests or ask people to pre-register with their proof of vaccination or testing.

In King County, 72.3% of the total population – roughly 1.6 million people – have been fully immunized according to the most recent data from Public Health – Seattle & King County. At the state level, 60.8% of Washingtonians have been fully vaccinated.

COVID cases have declined in recent weeks and officials are cautiously optimistic. In a recent interview with the Seattle Times, Inslee said he was still deciding whether to force vaccines on school-aged children, but added, “There is one clear thing we know. We can beat this virus by getting vaccinated. “

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