Masks required indoors and outdoors at Washington State Fair
Masks are now required outside and inside at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, regardless of vaccination status.
The mask directive, from Pierce County Health Director Dr. Anthony Chen, is mandatory, but is not enforceable, meaning no one can be arrested or ticketed for a violation.
Dr. Chen’s directive is expected to help prevent and limit the spread of the virus when case rates are at an all-time high in the county and hospitals do not have capacity for an influx of patients.
“Because hospital beds are full, people may have to wait longer in emergency departments,” Chen said. “Ambulances may experience delays, hospitals are regularly over 100% capacity.”
The State Fair, which opens Friday and runs through Sept. 26, will have masks available on-site for anyone who needs one. Visitors will not be asked to show proof of vaccination status.
Organizers say they will test all fair employees for COVID-19 before and during the fair, and will have fewer rides and booths to help keep people socially distanced. Additionally, visitors will be able to get tested for COVID-19 and also vaccinated at two locations.
The county said it’s averaging more than 300 new cases a day.
As of Aug. 30, the Washington State Department of Health reports that 73.3% of the eligible population (ages 12+) in the state had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Find a location to get vaccinated here.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 203 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 52% of the population, or 172 million people, are fully vaccinated as of Aug. 26.
The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe opens again from Sept. 2-6. It is encouraging fairgoers to wear masks. Additionally, it’s encouraging visitors “to first evaluate their own potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 before visiting, knowing that vaccines remain the best protection from COVID-19.”
The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.