Preventable COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are at extremely high levels in King County, and deaths are increasing. A new Public Health—Seattle & King County (Public Health) policy, announced on September 16, 2021, will create an additional layer of protection from COVID-19.
Public Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin has issued a Health Order that will require people attending recreational activities in most public places to show proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Order takes effect on October 25.
People who are unvaccinated or cannot prove vaccine status will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test in the last 72 hours or an FDA-approved rapid test result from a test conducted by a testing provider on-site at an event or establishment just before entry.
The Order is intended to make public spaces safer for everyone. It aims to slow the virus’s spread in our community and relieve pressure on our overburdened healthcare system.
It broadens and reinforces the vaccine verification policies that many restaurants, professional sports teams, universities, and businesses already have in place.
We know that the vaccines dramatically reduce a person’s risk of needing to be hospitalized from COVID-19. Vaccines dramatically reduce the chances of dying. Vaccines are free and widely available to anyone age 12 and up.
Getting as many people vaccinated as possible is the surest way to control the pandemic. With proof of vaccination and other layers of protection such as masks, residents can feel safer enjoying concerts, sporting events, and social gatherings in public.
Where will vaccine verification be required?
Starting October 25, people will be required to show proof of vaccination in many public places, such as:
- Outdoor events with 500 or more people
- Indoor recreational activities of any size, such as performances, movie theaters, conferences, or gyms
- Indoors at bars and restaurants (outdoor dining, grocery stores, and take-out are exempt)
The Order also gives the option of a more extended preparation period for smaller restaurants and bars with a seating capacity of 12 or fewer, with an implementation date of December 6.
The entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will last for six months, starting October 25. It will be reviewed for possible extensions based on future outbreak conditions.
Public Health strongly encourages faith-based organizations to adopt a vaccine verification policy voluntarily, but it is not mandatory at this time. The policy does not apply to children age 11 or younger who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.
People can verify that they’ve been vaccinated in several ways. They can show:
- CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card or a photo of the card
- Documented proof of vaccination from a medical record/vaccine provider
- Other vaccine verification apps approved by the Washington State Department of Health
- Printed certificate or QR code (available in late September) from MyIRMobile.com
A person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or their first dose of Johnson & Johnson. You do not have to show identification, such as a driver’s license when showing proof of vaccination.
As far as our local numbers go as of September 16th;
- 74% of residents 12+ in zip code 98045 (North Bend) are fully vaccinated, up from 73.5% September 3rd
- 69.2% of residents 12+ in zip code 98024 (Fall City) are fully vaccinated, up from 68.8% September 3rd
- 83% of residents 12+ in zip code 98065 (Snoqualmie) are fully vaccinated, up from 82.2% September 3rd
- 72.0% of residents 12+ in zip code 98014 (Carnation) are fully vaccinated, the same as September 3rd
- 83.2% of residents 12+ in zip code 98019 (Duvall) are fully vaccinated, the same as September 3rd
According to Public Health, since the mask mandate ended on June 29th (it has since been reinstated), 98045 has had 236 new Covid cases, 98065 has had 194, 98024 has had 62, 98014 has had 88, and 98019 has had 137 new cases. *Note: Testing data for the last two-week period is incomplete.
[See the full post on the Public Health Insider here]