Rantz: WA doesn’t track outdoor COVID transmission, King County can’t point to one case

May 10, 2021, 6:41 PM | Updated: May 11, 2021, 10:49 am
Despite being outdoors, socially distanced and fully vaccinated, Governor Jay Inslee needlessly wea...
Despite being outdoors, socially distanced and fully vaccinated, Governor Jay Inslee needlessly wears a mask.

Washington State does not track outdoor transmission rates of the coronavirus. Seattle and King County Public Health can’t point to a single verified instance of outdoor transmission. Yet we have rules mandating our behaviors outside.

Governor Jay Inslee said he would base his COVID decisions on science and data. The Washington Department of Health tracks COVID in restaurants, gyms, and grocery stores. They used that data to justify closing down businesses or mandate mask use.

But what about parks, which at one point were closed? What about closely monitored outdoor trails? The state never tracked the data on outdoor transmission, yet Governor Jay Inslee’s dizzying and inconsistent rules mandate outdoor masks in various circumstances, including when surrounded by vaccinated people.

Rantz: Inslee brings vaccine passports, segregation to stadiums, colleges, churches

Washington doesn’t track outdoor COVID transmission

Inslee repeatedly promised that science and data would guide his COVID mandates from the pandemic’s start.

That was apparently the case when he closed our massive state parks and public lands. He even shuttered our boat ramps, banning individuals from recreational fishing, even if alone in a boat. Think Inslee had access to alarming data showing the outdoor transmission rate in Washington was somehow trending higher than everywhere else? He did not.

The DOH does not track outdoor transmission. Why? It’s too hard.

“Our ability to pinpoint exactly where COVID-19 is being transmitted in our communities is limited,” a spokesperson from DOH told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “When we interview cases, it is often extremely difficult to determine with certainty where the individual was infected. People often have more than one potential exposure, and they may not remember all their activities in the 14 days before becoming ill or may not want to share all their activities with us.”

People can’t remember visiting a park, going for a hike, or visiting a beach? Yet, the investigations have been used to justifying shutting down businesses.

“With limited data on where transmission is occurring in Washington, we rely on the science around how this virus is spread,” a spokesperson with DOH tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

But the science has been clear. Inslee? Not so much.

Bellevue Deputy Mayor: It’s ‘difficult to run a business’ with uncertainty of rollback

Seattle-King County Public Health can’t point to one outdoor transmission

Seattleites continue to wear masks outdoors, even when nowhere near another person. Can Public Health point to a single known instance of outdoor transmission of COVID? No.

“In outbreak investigations, the possible exposures are often complicated and may involve both indoor and outdoor interactions,” a spokesperson for Public Health tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “For example, an outbreak connected with a soccer club could conceivably point to outdoor transmission during play, but it could also (and more likely) implicate the locker room or the bus or the postgame party.”

In other words, because they can’t prove it didn’t happen outdoors, they won’t rule outdoor transmission out. The science, of course, points to indoor transmission.

“Many of the outbreaks local public health has investigated have been in healthcare settings, congregate settings, worksites and large social gatherings — many of which clearly are in indoor settings where risk is greater,” the spokesperson continues. “But given the uncertainty in the exact point of transmission, and because we do not investigate all cases, it would be inaccurate to say there have been no cases of outdoor transmission.”

I’m sure there have been rare cases of outdoor transmissions. The global data indicates it’s possible — but extremely rare. So rare it does not justify wearing masks outdoors, especially if you’re fully vaccinated.

Washington is one of two states without a plan or date to fully reopen

Stop ignoring the science on outdoor transmission

The science on outdoor transmission continues to be clear, so long as you use data outside of Washington.

A review in The Journal of Infectious Diseases shows a low rate out of outdoor transmission. One study even put the outdoor transmission rate below 1%. And the New York Times on Tuesday morning noted the “share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent.”

It’s exceptionally rare in large part due to fresh air and wind dispersing the virus. The sun’s ultraviolet light is also believed to kill the virus, which is why scientists believe the summer months slow the spread.

Yet Inslee wears a mask outdoors. He is fully vaccinated.

Inexplicably, while telling Washingtonians to “take it outside” at an outside press conference, Inslee needlessly donned a mask. He was even socially distanced. Inslee faced no risk of COVID.

At the same time, Inslee has approved vaccinated-only sections at events. His guidance allows vaccinated adults and COVID-negative youngsters to sit in certain outdoor venues, yet they have to wear masks. There is no science to back this up.

Then there are the Seattleites who think they’re heroes by not just walking with masks on while outside, but giving the stink eye to those of us who are vaccinated, distanced, and walking without a mask. Get over yourselves. You’re the foolish ones.

Rantz: UW, PLU force vaccines on students but not staff; mask use unknown

Their excuse? It’s too hard

The excuse from the state and King County is that it’s just too hard to track outdoor transmission. I have no doubt it’s hard.

Do you know what else is hard? For a business to follow onerous rules from the state while staying afloat. Yet they’re doing just that. They’re struggling, but have no sympathy from Inslee, of course.

If the state is coming up with rules that drive our very ability to live free, it should do the work — hard as it might be — to find the data they use to create its mandates.

Did you like this report and opinion? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler and like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Car Shot Seattle...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man nearly murdered in random Seattle drive-by while celebrating job promotion

My 25-year-old coworker had just finished hitting a bucket of golf balls at a North Seattle golf range. Moments later, his elation turned to terror as a man tried to murder him.
2 days ago
Bellingham Sex Shop...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School Board director hosts ‘Queer Youth Open Mic’ at sex shop

Unless Jenn Mason clears out the store, those children will be near sex toys, graphic books, and lingerie, with a curtained doorway keeping them away.
3 days ago
King County Courthouse from City Hall (flickr creative commons)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle judge slapped in the face, but refused to report assault to police

The unidentified suspect allegedly slapped a King County Superior Court Judge in the face, but the judge didn't want to be identified as a victim.
4 days ago
(Seattle Police Department)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Victim died as medics waited for critically understaffed Seattle Police to arrive to scene

Due to critically low staffing, Seattle Police were unable to quickly respond to a deadly hit and run as medics waited to be cleared to treat the victim.
5 days ago
Police officers block a street as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) ar...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Did Seattle councilmembers abuse police help, while defunding department?

I didn't come up empty-handed because I have no idea whether or not it's true. In this case, I was stopped from doing a part of my job.
9 days ago
Slides from Kirkland Middle School's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Presentation  from April 28...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School used unsubstantiated hate speech claim to push kids into equity training

KiMS principal alleged there was an "an increase in use of racial and identity slurs." The incidents were "pervasive rather than an isolated incident."
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Rantz: WA doesn’t track outdoor COVID transmission, King County can’t point to one case