Vaccine requirements in Clallam, Jefferson counties part of ‘social contract,’ says health officer

Sep 8, 2021, 2:57 PM | Updated: Sep 9, 2021, 7:11 am
vaccine requirements...
A person presents their vaccine card at Liberty Theatre in Camas, Washington. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

A public health order took effect in Clallam and Jefferson counties last week, requiring proof of vaccination for patrons entering an indoor restaurant or bar. As for why officials ultimately opted for that measure, health officer Dr. Allison Berry spoke to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show to explain.

King County to explore enacting new vaccine requirements

In practice, the order mandates that all indoor restaurant and bar patrons show proof of vaccination as a requirement for entry, excepting children younger than 12 years old and employees of the businesses who mask continuously while working.

This comes while COVID-19 cases in both counties have stretched local hospitals to their limits, Berry cautioned. The hope is that requiring vaccinations for people in restaurants and bars can help address that by minimizing exposure in crowded indoor spaces.

“The primary issue here is reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these high risk areas,” Berry explained, pointing to an outbreak in a single bar that started with 17 infections, and then later ballooned to over 100 cases. “In Clallam and Jefferson counties, our health care system is overwhelmed — we are unable to provide the kind of medical care that people are used to receiving, and we don’t have enough beds or enough people to staff them.”

“We have to stem the tide of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, and vaccines are the most effective way we have to do that,” she added.

Dr. Berry also clarified that the larger goal is to exhaust every possible option to avoid having to close down businesses.

Expanded mask mandates take effect in King, Pierce counties

“When you see hospitals stretched beyond capacity, you would normally see businesses closed, and we don’t want to do that,” she noted. “I want to try to find a way to keep these bars and restaurants open.”

The new requirements go beyond that, though, with Dr. Berry pointing to other basic safety restrictions considered to be part of “a social contract in this country.” That ranges from rules against smoking indoors to not speeding in school zones, all of which exist under one guiding principle:

“I don’t think we have a right to endanger other people,” Berry described. “In order to operate a business, you have to have a wide variety of licenses — in order to maintain those licenses, you have to follow the laws of the region in which your business exists. If you are not following those laws, if you are not meeting basic health codes of the area in which your business is practicing, then those licenses can be revoked, and that has always been true.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Ballard Commons...
Dori Monson Show

Years-long saga of Ballard Commons homeless encampment ends, but why now?

Seattle has officially ordered the removal of the homeless encampment at the Ballard Commons Park, effective Dec. 7.
19 hours ago
Dori Monson Show

Brian Kilmeade says he doesn’t support Fauci-Nazi comparisons

Brian Kilmeade, of the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox Radio, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that he doesn't support comparisons of Dr. Anthony Fauci to Nazis.
4 days ago
lawn mower man...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Rebuffed by City of Seattle, grassroots volunteers get ‘Lawn Mower Man’ off the streets

After more than a year of terrorizing Ballard neighbors with noise from his encampment, Seattle’s “Lawn Mower Man” has agreed to accept shelter placement.
6 days ago
seattle barber...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Is it time to cut-and-run for Seattle barber?

The owner of Steele Barber, with two Seattle locations, says repeat vandals and burglars with no help from city officials has him "closer to (his) limit."
7 days ago
crime, shooting...
Dori Monson Show

Kent mayor: After rash of shootings, ‘my residents are scared (but) I’m not giving up’

Multiple shootings marred a four-day Thanksgiving weekend for many cities in the Puget Sound area, but few more so than the city of Kent.
7 days ago
Reagan Dunn...
Dori Monson

Dori: King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announces Congressional run

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announced his candidacy on Monday for Washington's 8th District Congressional seat.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Vaccine requirements in Clallam, Jefferson counties part of ‘social contract,’ says health officer