Vaccine Verification Now Required for Some Activities in King County

Starting today, October 25, 2021, customers ages 12 and older are required to verify full vaccination or a negative test to participate in outdoor public events of 500 or more people and indoor entertainment and recreational establishments and events such as live music, performing arts, gyms, restaurants, and bars. 

Preventable COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remain at high levels in King County. This new Public Health—Seattle & King County (Public Health) policy, announced on September 16, 2021, creates an additional layer of protection from COVID-19.

People who are unvaccinated or cannot prove vaccine status will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered by a testing provider within the last 72 hours on-site at an event or establishment just prior to entry. Rapid tests used without the supervision of a testing provider will not be accepted. 

The Order is intended to make public spaces safer for everyone. It aims to slow the virus’s spread in our community, and to preserve local hospital capacity. 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, along with other layers of protection such as masks, residents can feel safer enjoying concerts, sporting events, and social gatherings in public. 

Where is vaccine verification required? 

Starting today, people are required to show proof of vaccination in a number of 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 entire order is not expected to be permanent. It will last for six months starting October 25. It will be reviewed for possible extension based on future outbreak conditions.

Public Health strongly encourages faith-based organizations to voluntarily adopt a vaccine verification policy, but it is not mandatory at this time. The policy also 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 a number of ways. They can show:

  • A CDC vaccine card or photo of vaccine card
  • Documented proof of vaccination from medical record or vaccine provider
  • Proof of vaccination from another state or country

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. 

Employers, their employees, and volunteers, must implement this Order equitably and may not discriminate based on an individual’s race, national origin, religion, or age. Businesses and venues should provide reasonable accommodation for those who are unable to provide proof of vaccination due to a disability.

Several other local governments have already adopted some form of vaccine verification policy, including New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Honolulu, the State of California, British Columbia in Canada, and Clallam and Jefferson counties in Washington state. 

Several local sports teams and venues, including the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Storm, University of Washington Huskies, and all events at Climate Pledge Arena adopted vaccination verification policies.

As far as our local vaccination numbers go as of October 25th.

  • 77.4% of residents 12+ in zip code 98045 (North Bend) are fully vaccinated, up from 74% September 16th
  • 71.8% of residents 12+ in zip code 98024 (Fall City) are fully vaccinated, up from 69.2% September 16th
  • 86.7% of residents 12+ in zip code 98065 (Snoqualmie) are fully vaccinated, up from 83% September 16th
  • 75.20% of residents 12+ in zip code 98014 (Carnation) are fully vaccinated, up from 72% September 16th
  • 86.5% of residents 12+ in zip code 98019 (Duvall) are fully vaccinated, up from 83.2 September 16th

[See the full post on the Public Health Insider here]

Comments

  1. If it helps put an end to this pandemic it is worth it. Especially in light of the fact that a significant number of people are too dim-witted to get the vaccine and protect their fellow citizens. How about business owners take a stand against stupidity. I bet that will drive business to those brave enough to do it.

  2. Franklin, you need to study the science a bit more. Whether you have the vaccine or not, you will get covid. That’s because the vaccine isn’t a sterilizing vaccine. The vaccine only prevents you from getting sick–it doesn’t prevent you from catching it and passing it on to someone else (vaxed or unvaxed). Now, that is still a VERY GOOD THING, but that is a benefit mostly for YOU and not the COMMUNITY assuming the hospitals can cope. And they have coped.

    Of course, the hospitalization rates are much lower for the vaxed versus unvaxed. About 1 in 100 versus 1 in 10,000. However, the protection afforded by natural antibodies is substantially higher than antibodies obtained by getting vaxed. In other words, when the vaxed person’s immunity is waning is 4-6 months, the person than actually had covid without a vaccine is still going strong. But better yet, they aren’t catching covid and passing it on as the vaxed person is.

    In the end, we put up with unvaxed people all around us for a year as the worked in our stores. They got sick, and they returned to work. And we were all better for it. That a critical responder or front-line worker today doesn’t want the vaccine doesn’t bother me a bit. They play a crucial role in our robust herd immunity. I personally have decided to get vaccinated. But I can completely understand why a 30 year old might not want it.

    Remember, an unvaxed young person is a much less likely to end up in the hospital than a vaccinated 50 year old. If we’re terrified of unvaxed 20 year olds, then we should be even more afraid of vaccinated 50 year olds. And a prudent move would be to confine everyone that is vaccinated and over 40 or 50 to the house to ensure the hospitals aren’t overwhelmed, because they are a much greater threat than the unvaxed 20-something. But we don’t do that because, well, that would be cruel.

    Live and let live. The virus does what it wants. That’s why much of the country HAS been back to normal for a year already. Travel outside the state and enjoy going into restaurants without a mask in site. Check into a hotel with a staff that is unmasked. See kids going to school without masks. Hear them in the school yards playing and getting sun on their face.

    it will remind you of better times. Stopping our lives so that we can vaccinate people that don’t want it is foolish because it won’t change outcomes one whit. We’re at 77% vaccinated. When you consider the % that have already had covid and are more immune than you are, we’re at herd immunity and then some.

  3. If I remember correctly, we were told that if only we reach the magic 70% of population (here, King county), there will be herd immunity and everybody will be safe. King county has more than 70% as of recently fully vaccinated. Why effectively starting a lockdown?
    “But a delta variant…” you say. There will always be variants, a “vaccine passport” won’t protect you. Everybody will eventually get COVID, want they that or not. Majority of population has been exposed to it and have immunity (some research say that it is even better than from vaccine). This includes various variants that have been around for almost two years now. Why going down the path of more restrictions, more division, more anxiety and even hate? This won’t end well if it continues this way.

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