CORONAVIRUS: New mask requirement – large outdoor events in King County

King County has just expanded its mask order – starting next Tuesday, face coverings will be required at large outdoor events too. From the announcement:

As new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge, King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin has issued a Local Health Officer Order requiring masks at any outdoor event with 500 or more people in attendance. This requirement applies to all people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, 5 years of age and older. The Order strongly recommends that masks be worn in all other outdoor settings where people cannot remain six feet apart from non-household members.

Read the full Local Health Officer Order here. This is in addition to the ongoing requirement for indoor masking (both countywide and state orders were issued on that).

55 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: New mask requirement - large outdoor events in King County"

  • trickycoolj September 2, 2021 (10:31 am)

    This needs to be in effect before Labor Day weekend, Huskies home opener is this weekend as is the twice rescheduled Hella Mega Tour concert and a number of other festivals and conventions.  Going to be an ugly few weeks.

    • Bandana September 2, 2021 (5:27 pm)

      King County reported 960 positive tests today. 

  • Brian September 2, 2021 (10:58 am)

    But indoor school with unmasked lunches and recess are okay. Got it. 

  • Rowd883 September 2, 2021 (11:34 am)

    And shut down indoor dining now. The fact that I can go slam into a crowded restaurant with unmasked patrons is frankly shocking.

    • Alki resident September 2, 2021 (12:46 pm)

      Then simply don’t go out to eat. We will continue to support our local eateries like we always do. Zero need for another shut down.,

      • Rowd883 September 2, 2021 (2:19 pm)

        Can you see the hypocrisy of having people forced to wear masks when outside where the risk of transmission is extremely low versus 200 people in a small enclosed space with no masks? But hey, it’s about our local businesses and the poor restaurant workers. :eyeroll:

    • Beepee September 2, 2021 (1:00 pm)

      The fact that people can still go sing karaoke baffles me 

    • Jeepney September 2, 2021 (1:03 pm)

      Keep the indoor dining open, restaurant workers and owners have suffered enough.  People need to get vaccinated, wear masks, and use common sense.

    • Resident September 2, 2021 (4:30 pm)

      Don’t go dine indoors. Your problem is solved. Don’t force your stance on the rest of us. I will wear masks where required but it is time for the lockdowns to stop. 

  • Craig Lovely September 2, 2021 (11:56 am)

    Murica and Free Dumb has allowed this to continue.  I still cannot believe the folks we pay via taxes allowed this to get this out of hand.  Why do we pay taxes?  Everything is stupid right now.  EVERYTHING!  

  • WS Taxpayer September 2, 2021 (12:08 pm)

    When will we all acknowledge that covid is endemic and we have reached the “you do you” phase of the game.  Get vaccinated, live your life, get sick maybe, wear a mask if you want to, stay home if you choose, but government, please leave me alone.    

    • Wseattleite September 2, 2021 (3:01 pm)

      Completely Agree

    • S. A. September 2, 2021 (3:03 pm)

      Maybe when the hospitals aren’t so full that accident victims are waiting in the halls for hours and cancer treatments are being turned away?Maybe when the vaccine is approved for infants and children under 12?

      • Resident September 2, 2021 (4:34 pm)

        Or how about we make changes to how we handle Covid patients and let the rest of live our lives. Putting masks on didn’t help eradicate the virus and won’t. Vaccines won’t. So let people live their lives. Even the countries that have locked down have now come to the realization that lock downs are not the long term answer.

    • Brian September 2, 2021 (8:10 pm)

      Maybe actually look up what the word endemic means instead of just claiming that’s what reality is. As long as infected folks spread this disease to more than one other person, it’s not endemic. 

      • DR September 2, 2021 (9:04 pm)

        The definition of endemic is “regularly found among particular people or in a certain area.”  That is different from the rate of transmission which is what you are referring to.  So the original comment is correct.

    • Lauren September 2, 2021 (9:02 pm)

      As a parent of an under-12 year old, this comment enrages me.

  • Pessoa September 2, 2021 (12:20 pm)

    Then don’t go out.  You don’t have the right to impose your irrational assessment of risk on others, whether it be a restaurant or otherwise.   

    • Jill Loblaw September 4, 2021 (6:03 am)

      So what you’re saying is that you don’t mind going to the back of the line at a hospital for your own or your family’s medical emergency when others who decide not to get vaccinated and wear masks out of consideration for others fill up the ICU beds before you got there ? Got it.

  • PSPS September 2, 2021 (1:08 pm)

    Infection rate spiking to 43.4/100K, a critical level not seen since its worst ever last December.  Infection rate at a level also not seen since last December. ICU over 80% capacity. Death rate back to February’s level. But, hey! The pandemic is over! Let’s just have huge outdoor crowds wear masks! Problem solved! Go to a ball game! Restaurant! Tattoo parlor!! Starbucks!! Kids back in school!! Don’t dare even suggest that the irresponsible should take others into account because … freedom!!!!

    • JTM September 2, 2021 (4:33 pm)

      I’m honestly not sure what point you’re trying to making, but the seven day average death rate for King County, as of 8/31, is 1.3 deaths.  In February it stayed around 3.7 – 4.0 all month.  Hospitalized cases are about 1/3rd higher now vs. Feburary….but not as many people are dying, which tells us that the vaccines are working at keeping people from dying.  All this data can be found here – anytime – so next time you can be accurate in between the exclamation points:

      • Greg September 3, 2021 (8:17 am)

        The commenter is referring to state-wide metrics and this is a state-wide policy. You’re also right it’s a bit better in KC, but even this average hides useful trends in data (like the west zip codes on WS doing better than averages, but East and especially south Covid is severe).

        • JTM September 3, 2021 (4:18 pm)

          The article is about King County, quoting the King County Local Health Director – not a statewide policy. I’d rather be in here in Seattle than just about anywhere else in the state when it comes to our hospitalization and death rates. Also – King County is doing FAR better than statewide – our hospitalization rate is almost half, and the positive rate is 60% of statewide.

    • Resident September 2, 2021 (4:37 pm)

      Yes, personal freedom and personal responsibility. Those screaming freedom and then looking for help without taking the steps to protect themselves are the problem and should be dealt with in a different way than those that take the steps to protect I have no interest in lock downs. Very little interest in masks. Been vaccinated. All for freedom AND personal responsibility.

  • Anne September 2, 2021 (1:10 pm)

    Past due-just looking at recent Mariners,Sounders, Seahawks games with folks shoulder to shoulder yelling & screaming- many obviously under vaccination age ,many unmasked-was disheartening. This has to happen before these activities are once again closed to fans. Don’t think indoor dining needs to be shut down- yet-but if restaurants don’t start enforcing the mask rule-for  everyone except the very very young-that’s where we’re headed-again. 

    • Resident September 2, 2021 (4:40 pm)

      Or a counter argument would be that we don’t lock down again and for those that choose not to vaccinate are free to do so but can’t participate in events, dining, etc.  Don’t punish the masses for the bad decisions of others.

      • Lauren September 2, 2021 (9:05 pm)

        Omg KIDS CAN’T GET VACCINATED, they don’t choose not to vaccinate

  • WSJunction September 2, 2021 (2:08 pm)

    @WSTaxpayer the problem with all “you do you” is that all the people refusing to get vaccinated and those that can’t ie too young etc are currently overwhelming our healthcare systems with hospitalizations/medical care. Until people either act like responsible grown ups and do their part then someone has to step in and do it for them. 

    • Resident September 2, 2021 (4:43 pm)

      Not a problem if we handle those that choose not to vaccinate differently. No vaccination then you are nit given priority to healthcare. Not saying they can’t get treated but those choosing that path need to take responsibility for that decision. With freedom comes responsibility for the decisions made.

      • Canton September 2, 2021 (7:25 pm)

        Ok, then if you get sick while vaccinated, can the same recourse be offered. If one is vaccinated, and still needs a hospital bed, same thing right? Maybe punish those that can’t biologically produce their own immunity?

  • StopCuttingDownTrees September 2, 2021 (2:20 pm)

    This is way too late. It needs to go into effect immediately. Unmasked, fully-vaccinated people are spreading the Delta variant asymptomatically by the thousands. There are still many tens of thousands of vaccinated elderly and immune-compromised individuals who can’t survive the Delta or Gamma variants. Countless unvaccinated have been filling stores without masks for 2+ months now. Everyone has masks, so there’s ZERO excuse for a delay.

  • TJ September 2, 2021 (4:50 pm)

    The people wanting and accepting these mandates are the vaccinated. The unvaccinated are not wanting mask mandates, and if they are the ones getting sick then it’s on them (I am not vaccinated). If you say believe the science, then you need to accept the science that says the strongest vaccine are natural antibodies those that got covid have. Besides that, it was 70% needed to be vaccinated for here immunity, now I hear 90%. Next it will be booster shots are needed for some other strain. Then another. The end of covid will be a mirage if people keep looking for a boogey-man. Time to move on 

    • Over It September 2, 2021 (7:15 pm)

      What you’re saying is akin to arguing that people should be able to drive drunk and if they crash the car, that’s on them.  If someone can’t get adequate care after a car accident, or stroke, or heart attack because the hospital’s beds are full of COVID patients, that’s on YOU, not them.  What anti-vaxxers refuse to acknowledge is that their choice IS affecting other people, and not positively.  Grow up and think about others for a change.

      • Canton September 2, 2021 (9:54 pm)

        It is up to you, to protect yourself, from all of life’s morbid consequences. If it’s a car accident, cancer, heart disease, norovirus, flu…whatever. You cannot, and shouldn’t,  expect others to keep YOU safe. Mitigate the options and choose what is best for you. 

    • Auntie September 2, 2021 (7:56 pm)

      I have found the boogey-man and it is the unvaccinated person next to me in the store. (I was going to say it is you, but didn’t want to make a personal attack.)

    • Lauren September 2, 2021 (9:08 pm)

      “The unvaccinated” is not just anti-vaxxed, it’s kids and it’s not “on them” if they end up in the hospital because you can’t grow up and get a shot. 

    • Teacher September 2, 2021 (11:46 pm)

      Actually, the strongest immunity are those with natural antibodies from the original strain (pre-Delta) who got vaccinated after.Same study you read the headlines on, actually had this part written. 

  • Exhausted healthcare worker September 2, 2021 (6:27 pm)

    From an EXHAUSTED healthcare worker who is doing the work of 3 people every. single. day. I come to work, reading this comment section makes me feel so hopeless. If you don’t want to get vaccinated then sign something that we don’t have to care for you when you get sick, as I have not taken care of ONE vaccinated person on a ventilator since this entire mess started. The “do you” argument is not enough, if you don’t trust medicine enough to get the vaccine, then why trust us enough to take care of you when you are sick?! 

    • miws September 2, 2021 (6:38 pm)

      Exhausted HC Worker, Thank you for sharing your firsthand perspective, and thank you for what you do.  Much respect… —Mike

    • Lauren September 2, 2021 (9:09 pm)

      We see you. Thank you. 

    • DM September 2, 2021 (9:23 pm)

      Exhausted Health Care Worker, thank you for stating it so well….  If anti-vaxxers won’t take  responsibility for protecting their loved ones and their community, they should make it clear that they refuse aid from our exhausted health care community should they become ill…  I hate writing that, but I’m so tired of the position the anti-vaxxers have put us in with their dysfunctional, misguided righteousness. 

  • bill September 2, 2021 (8:23 pm)

    Argh, the stupidity displayed by the anti-vax people here is staggering. If you-all had participated in reaching a high enough vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity we would not be in this pickle. Today I bumped into a friend who is a health care worker. He was vaccinated in January. He deals with the public all day in his job. Right now he is being treated for pneumonia because he contracted Covid! Yes, he tested positive! Evidently his immunity is wearing off, as has been hinted by data from other countries. He did everything right but because of freedumb-spouting sociopaths his health is damaged, he has lost work days, and people who need his skills are missing out! Way to go, sociopaths!

  • KBear September 2, 2021 (8:45 pm)

    “You do you” is exactly why we’re still in this pandemic a year and a half later. Americans used to understand the value of sacrifice for the common good, but if we can’t even be bothered to get vaccinated and wear a mask in public, we aren’t that great anymore. 

    • Pessoa September 3, 2021 (10:22 am)

      No, the reason that we’re in this pandemic and consigned to an endless retinue of booster shots is because of instead of managing the virus, we foolishly locked down the country and disregarded millions of years of evolution that produced an incredibly complex and effective immune system.  We, and the world, are now paying the price.    

      • S.A. September 3, 2021 (8:46 pm)

        So we should have just let it rage, then? How’d that work out for the 1918 flu? The Black Death?

        • Pessoa September 5, 2021 (4:41 pm)

          Did you bother to read my other comments that explain my position, which includes sequestering the elderly and vulnerable? No, of course not. 

  • RDM September 2, 2021 (9:05 pm)

    Does anyone know the goal at this point? What are we trying to accomplish? No cases? No hospitalizations? No deaths?  100% vaccination? When can we take these off?

    I’m not anti-mask, I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve followed every rule and will continue to. I have a young unvaccinated daughter who I also want to protect. But we have to say what we’re working toward here. Just be honest and transparent with people.

    Why no mention of using a superior mask like an N95/KN95? Study after study shows that cloth masks are basically worthless against Delta but high quality masks work really well. Jeff Duchin knows that (I follow him on Twitter) and doesn’t bother to recommend something good.

    • WSB September 2, 2021 (9:59 pm)

      The KC Public Health website has addressed mask quality multiple times. One recent post:

    • ROWD883 September 3, 2021 (10:07 am)

      Thank you, RDM. I am in the same boat as you and many others. What is the end goal and what is the metric we are looking at to determine when we can loosen the restrictions (masks included)? All able to be vaccinated? Never? I would love to know. 

  • Mj September 2, 2021 (10:38 pm)

    There is a middle ground, many people have gotten vaccinated with a primary reason to ditch the mask.  Vaccinated people need to be allowed to choose to wear a mask or not.  It’s time to put the onus on the unvaccinated adults where it matters their wallet/purse if they get sick with Covid it’s on them to pay.  

  • Auntie September 3, 2021 (10:20 am)

    There are already vaccination requirements for students to attend school (MMR, etc), and this should be added to the list. 

  • Auntie September 3, 2021 (10:26 am)

    I should have clarified by saying “when they are old enough.” I did not mean those that are currently too young to get the vaccination.

  • ARPigeonPoint September 4, 2021 (2:37 am)

    For those of your protesting “lockdowns,” what definition are you using? It’s been well over a year since the stay at home orders were lifted. I’m confused as to what you consider a lockdown. 

    • Pessoa September 5, 2021 (4:45 pm)

      Restricting access to public places for the unvaccinated or those who refuse to show proof of vaccination. These are essentially lock downs. 

  • Sunuva September 5, 2021 (5:36 pm)

    Not even close. This is No Shirt, No Shoes, No Vaccine = No Service. It is nothing like a lockdown. It is businesses and the state trying to protect all of us from a deadly virus while staying open and in business. Anyone who is protesting this has options: stay home, or get vaccinated and wear a mask. Then you can buy a ticket to a show or a movie, where someone will still check your ID to make sure you’re old enough to handle a drink and you’ll have to put your seatbelt on while you travel to your destination.

Sorry, comment time is over.