VACCINATION: King County hits 70% milestone, will drop mask directive in two weeks

70 percent of everyone 16+ in King County is fully vaccinated. County Executive Dow Constantine just made that announcement, and added that County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin‘s mask directive will end on June 29th. That of course is one day before the promised statewide reopening date – which still could move up if the state meets Gov. Jay Inslee‘s vaccination goal (which he reiterated today), 70 percent of people 16+ getting at least one dose. Today’s King County announcement notes that tomorrow marks six months since vaccination began here.

38 Replies to "VACCINATION: King County hits 70% milestone, will drop mask directive in two weeks"

  • StopCuttingDownTrees June 15, 2021 (3:43 pm)

    So, if roughly 5% of those not fully vaccinated are partially vaccinated, that still leaves about 650,000 thousand completely unvaccinated King County residents who will largely be unmasked in crowded public indoor places. Add to that the countless hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated people from all over the Nation (and World) coming through SeaTac Airport, interstate freeways, trains, and buses and we could see another wave of cases again. Some States only have 30% vaccination rates and many of those people are on their way here this summer. They should open everything but keep the indoor mask mandate.

    • A June 15, 2021 (5:58 pm)

      Or they could open everything up and let the businesses decide individually if they want to mandate masks in their establishments. You know, like something a free country would do

      • StopCuttingDownTrees June 15, 2021 (7:55 pm)

        So, you’re saying there should’ve been NO closures or restrictions throughout the past 18 months of the Pandemic, which we’re still in the midst of?

        • Curious June 16, 2021 (1:42 pm)

          In Washington where there are highly vaccinated versus unvaccinated areas the pandemic may finally be transitioning into the epidemic phase in the unvaccinated areas with occasional periods of high case counts, and into the endemic phase with infrequent cases in highly vaccinated areas. Unfortunately, there is usually no set date to identify when this happens, its usually in hindsight. Fortunately, the vaccines, if one is fully vaccinated, have proven protective to all the variants to date.

    • Jort June 15, 2021 (10:18 pm)

      Nah, those people can take their chances with death and serious injury. These people have had more than enough opportunities to get the vaccine. If they don’t want the vaccine, they can either choose to protect themselves with a mask (which seems like an unlikely choice) or they can choose to get coronavirus and maybe die. We have witnessed a miracle of science in the last year with these vaccines. Who could have ever imagined we’d have ~95% efficacy and the capability to just wipe this scourge off the earth? People who are refusing these vaccines because of conspiracy theories and political affiliation might be living in cuckoo-crazy fantasy land about the vaccines, but they can also live with the very real and very serious reality-based consequences of getting coronavirus.  These people have been harping on and on about “personal freedoms” for a year. Fine. Here you go. Now you have the personal freedom to get infected with the deadliest pandemic virus in a generation and you can go ahead and figure out first hand that facts matter and your fantasy world of Facebook memes and performative TV pontificating won’t save your life when it matters. Good luck with your freedom and goodbye.

  • JamesJ June 15, 2021 (3:54 pm)

    We had a mask directive? I thought The CDC and Gov said vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks weeks ago?

    • WSB June 15, 2021 (4:35 pm)

      See the link.

    • Amanda June 15, 2021 (4:37 pm)

      It was a recommendation, not a mandate like we had before. 

  • Spd123 June 15, 2021 (4:52 pm)

    We are the most vaccinated city – we have done the work and we were serious and careful. These dates are crazy and arbitrary – open this city and state up NOW. San Fran, LA, New York and Chicago are all enjoying summer not feeling shamed for a square of fabric across their face (or chin)- it’s our time – if vaccinated to party finally this summer! 

    • fletcher8 June 15, 2021 (6:55 pm)

      Daily parties on Alki this summer! Woohoo!

      Mask-burning bonfires?

    • CAM June 15, 2021 (9:18 pm)

      Uh, I was just in Chicago 2 weeks ago. Masks are everywhere. Try again. 

      • Bronson June 16, 2021 (7:44 am)

        Chicago fully opened up on 6/11

        • CAM June 17, 2021 (1:40 am)

          That is an illusory correlation that you’re drawing there. 

      • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy June 16, 2021 (3:46 pm)

        Friend just came back from Chicago a few days ago. Said masks were sparse. 

  • HS June 15, 2021 (5:07 pm)

    OMG. I feel both weird and elated.

  • Oh boy June 15, 2021 (5:35 pm)

    If I have a business after the mandate/ whatever is over.  You will still wear a mask in my store if you want to do business there.  My business,  my employees, my life. Don’t like it,  move onDoesn’t matter if we are the most vaccinated city or not.  It is “those” people aren’t,  you will see numbers jump.  Too many variants out there. Peace to you all. 

    • Shan June 15, 2021 (5:55 pm)

      Good luck with that business model.

      • AMD June 15, 2021 (7:02 pm)

        I mean, as a fully-vaccinated customer I’m still wearing a mask indoors and feel more comfortable in stores where most or all people are wearing masks and am choosing them over stores with no masking policy.  So yeah, businesses know who their customers are and will make the choices that are best for their customers, staff, and themselves.

    • Diane June 15, 2021 (6:44 pm)

      thank you OH BOY; I’ve been fully vaccinated since early March and still plan to wear my facemask everywhere, especially as long as children can still not yet get vaccinated; and yes, too many variants, and the Delta variant has caused deaths even in fully vaccinated folks

      • What Do I Know June 15, 2021 (7:47 pm)

        Reality check. “The new analysis found that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were 96 percent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant.” Info as of yesterday.

    • SunDevil June 16, 2021 (11:43 am)

      My wife and I have been not going to most businesses that force us to wear a mask. Even more hilarious are the businesses that have outside walk up windows with triple-pane safety glass and that won’t serve you without a mask. Zero science whatsoever. I know that most would like for this to continue on indefinitely or for people to wear masks forever (even when alone in a vehicle), but the majority of the country (California included) is moving on. My large employer is not forcing vaccinated people to wear masks which I was not expecting. If you are not vaccinated, that is on you at this point.

      • Karen June 19, 2021 (5:02 pm)

        I will keep wearing one until kids can be vaccinated, but look forward to the day I don’t feel the need to. :).  Although I may continue to wear one on airplanes.  I always seem to get sick when I fly.

  • Bandana June 15, 2021 (5:42 pm)

    I believe masks will still be required on planes, light rail, and buses after June 30.

  • Smittytheclown June 15, 2021 (7:09 pm)

    It’s over. Well done, Washington! For all you people hoping for an extension – it’s over.  Get back to work. 

    • Thd3 June 15, 2021 (7:24 pm)

      Amen – well done – move on people – NEXT

    • BWD June 15, 2021 (8:25 pm)

      Hence the clown part of the handle. 

    • Canton June 15, 2021 (10:56 pm)

      Spot on. If you are vaccinated, you are perfectly safe. If you would like to continue to wears masks, do so. If none of that makes you comfortable, avoid crowds. We did our part, let the population function normally again. If you personally, don’t feel safe, mitigate your personal risks.

  • JCW June 15, 2021 (7:45 pm)

    I’ll still be wearing a mask, whether it’s on trend or not. I wish the CDC, or WA State, or King County would acknowledge the hard spot this puts families with kiddos <12 into. None of this feels safe for them. 

    • Diane June 15, 2021 (8:52 pm)

      exactly JCW; agree 100% 

    • Throw it to the Tight End! June 15, 2021 (11:36 pm)

      I understand the concern, but kiddos <12 are at extreme low risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Statistically, that is a short-sighted reason to keep masking mandatory. But, yes, if we all wear masks in public for the rest of eternity, transmission of air-borne viruses will be diminished. 

      • Greg Smith June 16, 2021 (4:55 pm)

        As a parent of an 8 year old this all makes zero difference to me. Kids can get coronavirus. I wish people would stop saying it doesn’t affect them. That’s just BS.@Throw It – I’m guessing you don’t have kids? Children now account fo 22% of new cases instead of the 3% the same period a year ago, because back then schools were all closed.https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/03/993141036/children-now-account-for-22-of-new-u-s-covid-cases-why-is-that I am not going to take my kid to a restaurant or crowded event where everyone else is unmasked because there is no way to know who among that crowd is an anti vaxer/masker.If we want to do a playdate the kids still have to mask up..I’ll stop wearing my mask when my kid can comfortably do so. . . Which I hope is before SPS tries to start school next year at full capacity.

      • Gebus June 16, 2021 (5:26 pm)

        Some other perspective from the same site

        https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/03/993141036/children-now-account-for-22-of-new-u-s-covid-cases-why-is-that

        Kids can and do get coronavirus. A year ago it was 3% because we closed schools and enforced mask rules. Now cases are on an uptick with 22% of new cases being children.

        I really wish people would stop saying kids are not at risk. It’s just not true. 

        This will make zero difference to me as a parent of an 8 year old. I’m not taking my kid out to some crowded restaurant or event when anyone in the crowd could be the 30% anti vaxer/masker.

        I will most likely stop wearing my mask all the time, when my kid is vaccinated, which I really hope is before SPS tries to restart school at full capacity in person in the fall.

        As far as some comments of people not supporting a business because they still ask you to mask up, simply saying you are vaccinated isn’t proof enough with so many people making it political or an attack on their rights, people all just need to relax. No shirt, no shoes, no service is common in a restaurant and nobody complains about that or refuses to go to that business.

  • Mj June 15, 2021 (10:47 pm)

    It’s nice being fully vaccinated, per the CDC guidelines, THE SCIENCE everyone kept talking about for over a year, says it is safe to not wear a mask so why so much angst?  I personally will not wear a mask except indoors on public transit, airplane or medical facilities.  If a business asks me to wear one I simply say I am vaccinated and if they insist they will lose a customer.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees June 16, 2021 (2:02 am)

      If “THE SCIENCE” says it’s safe, then why wear a mask on public transit, airplane, or medical facilities? The virus spreads anywhere un or partially-vaccinated people congregate indoors, not just medical, airline, and transit facilities. It doesn’t care whether it’s new victim is unmasked on a bus or in line at a grocery store.

    • donthatetheplayer June 16, 2021 (3:01 pm)

      MJ, as a small business owner, I want you to know that we don’t really have the option, in spite of what KC says. Business owners have to placate the most vocal of social justice/cancel culture residents. If we decide to not require masks, we risk a vindictive onslaught of bad Yelp reviews, calls for closure, and whatever else those looking to be victimized can come up with. So we just buckle to peer pressure and will ride this out for another 2 weeks.That is the problem with leaving it up to the businesses in the political climate that is Seattle.

  • Mj June 16, 2021 (10:43 am)

    StopCuttingDownTrees – good question, I do not believe a vaccinated person should have to wear a mask anytime.  The CDC guidelines still require it on transit, airplanes and medical facilities that is likely a political item versus science.

  • Scubafrog June 16, 2021 (1:40 pm)

    It’s sad that Inslee/Dow/CDC don’t understand the risk to kids.  Many kids have had Covid by now, and many are dealing with long-term symptoms.  We don’t even know what the long-term consequences of Covid are for adults, let alone kids who’re just teeing off at life.  And no, the pandemic isn’t over, so much disinformation and misinformation in these comments, very sad for such an educated communty.

Sorry, comment time is over.